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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

AAHA site visit a success

September 13th, 2011

“We passed!” exclaimed Hospital Director Dr. Helen Diggs.  The triennial American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accreditation site visit took place September 8 and was an overwhelming success. Six hospital services were individually evaluated as part of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s AAHA accreditation: Small Animal Medicine, Small Animal Surgery, Oncology, Cardiology, Anesthesiology, and Diagnostic Imaging. Other hospital support areas reviewed were the Drug Room, Central Sterile, Small Animal Reception. Additionally, documentation of an effective working relationship with the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory was assessed.

The evaluator, Ms. Britta Lynch, RVT, also performed accreditation visits in 2006 (initial visit) and 2008. She was especially impressed with the hospital’s growth and development over these five years. She also mentioned the presence of an esprit de corps within the hospital that she had not noticed as strongly on previous visits.

Special thanks go to Mandy Seals who organized the visit and ensured that documentation was complete and all participating areas were prepared; Drs. Helio de Morais and Jana Gordon who helped update hospital Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in response to the AAHA Standards; Alyssa Tucker and animal attendants who make the hospital shine ‘everyday’; Sherry Sisson, who took over supervision of Central Sterile this summer, and with the staff freshened and reorganized  the work area and streamlined procedures to increase efficiency; Pat Hutson who upgraded the VTH intranet site and linked hospital SOPs and Policies to the AAHA Standards; the CVM Facilities Crew (Ryan Mitchell, Steve Lehto, and Terry Robertson) who keep our physical plant in excellent repair.

AAHA is respected internationally for its hospital accreditation standards. Approximately 3,000 veterinary hospitals hold the “AAHA-accredited” designation. AAHA developed the Accreditation Program to increase loyalty and teamwork among veterinary staff members and provide a way for veterinary hospitals to demonstrate their excellence to their communities and clients.

“Periodic assessment gives us an opportunity for internal review and to reevaluate and, as necessary, update our procedures and policies. It is also an affirmation of our outstanding program,” Dr. Diggs added.


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