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Ohio Accepts AAHA Accreditation

Ohio becomes second state to accept AAHA accreditation in lieu of state inspection

July 1, 2015, LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Ohio has become the second state in the United States to accept accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association in place of a state inspection by the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board (OVMLB).

At the March 11, 2015 board meeting, OVMLB board members voted to deem AAHA-accredited veterinary facilities as having met the requirements of Ohio’s compliance inspection. AAHA-accredited facilities will be exempt from random compliance inspections unless there is a written complaint filed with the board related to the conditions of the veterinary facility. 

“Our board's view is that Ohio veterinarians whose hospitals have achieved AAHA accreditation have met and exceeded Ohio's standards for their facility. They exemplify ‘good behavior’ as veterinarians and business leaders in their communities,” said Tim Kolb, DVM, president of the OVMLB. “Since AAHA conducts regular inspections to maintain the accreditation status, our board voted to exempt AAHA accredited hospitals in Ohio from our routine compliance inspections, unless the Board receives a complaint necessitating an inspection. Our limited budget does not permit us to do compliance inspections on all Ohio veterinary facilities on as regular a basis as we would like. This will allow us to do more random compliance inspections on the veterinary hospitals that are not AAHA accredited.”

Alabama was the first state in the United States to accept AAHA accreditation in lieu of a state inspection. Veterinary hospitals in Alabama are permitted to skip an inspection by the ASBVME if they have already passed an evaluation by AAHA.

This change benefits hospitals that are already AAHA-accredited as well as enables OVMLB and ASBVME evaluators to make better use of their time. The OVMLB and ASBVME decisions reaffirm that AAHA’s 900-plus standards set a high standard for how animal hospital hospitals should be run. 

As of March 2015, 106 veterinary hospitals in Ohio were exempt from inspection due to their accredited status. 

“We are so pleased to see states like Ohio and Alabama recognizing the rigorous nature and the standard of medical excellence required to meet the AAHA accreditation standards,” said Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP, CEO of AAHA. “The approximately 900 standards of AAHA regularly go above and beyond state and provincial regulations. We commend Ohio and Alabama and encourage other states to follow their lead.”

Accreditation is a voluntary commitment practices make to their clients and patients, and AAHA is the only organization in the United States and Canada that accredits animal hospitals based on standards that meet and often exceed state regulations. The AAHA Standards of Accreditation, viewed as the standard of veterinary excellence, contain approximately 900 individual standards. These areas of focus include patient care and pain management, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, medical records, cleanliness, emergency services, dental care, diagnostic imaging, anesthesiology, and continuing education.

Not all veterinary hospitals are accredited. Nearly 60% of the pet-owning public believes their veterinary hospital is accredited when it is not. In actuality, only 12-15% of animal hospitals in the United States and Canada are accredited by AAHA. AAHA-accredited veterinary hospitals hold themselves to a high standard of care and strive to deliver excellent care for animals. Pet owners can find an accredited hospital for their own pets at aaha.org.

Hospitals interested in pursuing accreditation can visit aaha.org/why_aaha to find out more.

About AAHA
AAHA is the only organization in the United States and Canada that accredits companion animal hospitals based on standards that meet or exceed state regulations. Established in 1933, the Association is well-known among veterinarians for its leadership in the profession, high standards for veterinary practices and pet health care, and most importantly, its accreditation of companion-animal practices. Visit aaha.org for more information.


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