The Value of AAHA Accreditation for You and Your Pet by Dr. Nancy Peterson

Once again, Ingersoll Animal Hospital has been re-evaluated by the American Animal Hospital Association and passed our inspection with flying colors, so we are celebrating! But what does it mean to be AAHA accredited anyway, and why is it important to you and your pet?

Why Standards are Important

Ingersoll Animal Hospital belongs to a select group of Des Moines Animal Hospitals and practices nationwide that are committed to meeting the highest standards in veterinary medicine. The American Animal Hospital Association is the only organization that accredits small animal hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada. AAHA-accredited hospitals voluntarily choose to be evaluated on 900 standards. Veterinary hospitals accredited by AAHA must demonstrate an exceptional level of medical care and client service and they are re-evaluated every three years to make sure they are keeping up with industry updates. By attaining accreditation, Ingersoll Animal Hospital is demonstrating its dedication to offering the best care to its patients and clients since it was one of the first Des Moines animal hospitals accredited, and has been since 1979!

Veterinary practices choose to become AAHA-accredited for a myriad of reasons, including the desire to improve practice operations and team building, update their skills, enhance their credibility with clients and strive for continuous improvement. Approximately 3,200 veterinary hospitals in the United States and Canada have made a commitment to meeting the highest standards of veterinary care.

AAHA-LOGOChoosing an AAHA-accredited hospital assures pet owners that the hospital they select has the staff, equipment, medical procedures and facilities that AAHA believes are vital for delivering high-quality pet care.

Approximately 15 percent of veterinary hospitals in North America voluntarily participate in the AAHA hospital evaluation program and are accredited. Consultants regularly visit these hospitals to ensure compliance with AAHA’s standards for services and facilities.

AAHA is the only organization that accredits animal hospitals throughout the United States and Canada. AAHA-accredited hospitals are evaluated on 900 standards in the following areas:

  • Quality of care
  • Diagnostic and pharmacy
  • Management
  • Medical records
  • Facility

Why should AAHA accreditation be important to you?

Because we are one of the select Des Moines animal hospitals accredited by AAHA, you’re assured that Ingersoll Animal Hospital has:

  • diagnostic services (X-ray and laboratory) so that they can quickly and accurately diagnose your pet.
  • quality of care in the areas of anesthesia, contagious diseases, dentistry, pain management, patient care, surgery, and emergency care.
  • an onsite pharmacy (another standards area) so they can begin treatment immediately.
  • thorough and complete medical records, which helps our veterinarians better understand your pet’s medical history and how past health issues might impact their current medical status.

The standards developed and published by AAHA are widely accepted as those components of veterinary practice that represent high quality care. The standards are periodically reviewed and updated to ensure that they remain consistent with evolving knowledge and technology.

Accreditation helps veterinary hospitals stay on the leading edge of veterinary medicine and provide the quality and range of services you and your pet deserve.

Ingersoll Animal Hospital and the other accredited Des Moines animal hospitals are dedicated to providing the best care possible for your pet. For this reason, we are a voluntary member of the AAHA and challenge ourselves to pass their rigorous tests in order to ensure that we are meeting our mission, vision, and values.

You can visit for information regarding AAHA and what it means for your pet.