AAHA unveils new standards for specialty, nontraditional practices

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The AAHA announced the expansion of its veterinary hospital accreditation program. The AAHA board of directors recently approved standards for delivery models such as species-specific and special-interest practices.

The new standards are offered to avian practices, feline practices, emergency and critical care hospitals, house call/mobile practices, and hospitals with an emphasis in surgery or dentistry. Written standards for central hospitals and practices focusing on radiology are in development.

The AAHA considers this service of offering standards, evaluations, and accreditation for veterinary hospital facilities to be its most important characteristic. In 1998, the AAHA appointed an Accreditation Program Task Force, which met for the first time in February 1999.

To develop standards, the task force solicited involvement from several groups, including the Association of Avian Veterinarians, American Veterinary Dental College, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, American Association of Feline Practitioners, and Association of House Call Veterinarians.

Each group of special-interest veterinarians worked with the task force members to adapt the AAHA's traditional standards to the needs of each field of interest. The AAHA anticipates its consultants will begin practice evaluations based on the new standards in February 2000. For more information call the AAHA's Practice Accreditation Services at (800) 252-2242 or (303) 986-2800.