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

Accreditation represents a standard of care, and access to “best practices,” clients can trust. And state agencies are recognizing that, first in Alabama and now, most recently, in Ohio.

Ohio has become the second state to accept accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) in place of a state inspection, this time by the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board (OVMLB).

At the March 11, 2015 Ohio board meeting, OVMLB board members voted to deem AAHA-accredited veterinary facilities as having met the requirements of Ohio’s compliance inspection.

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

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.”

Kolb noted that the change would enable the board to conduct more random compliance inspections on the veterinary hospitals that are not AAHA accredited.

Like Ohio, veterinary hospitals in Alabama are permitted to skip an inspection by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (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.

 “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.”

AAHA’s 900 standards cover patient care and pain management, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, medical records, cleanliness, emergency services, dental care, diagnostic imaging, anesthesiology, and continuing education.

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. Hospitals interested in pursuing accreditation can visit AAHA’s website to learn more about accreditation.