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Critical Care Society Selects First Certified Veterinary Hospitals

Posted: Nov. 18, 2013, 2:30 p.m. EST

The Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society has awarded its highest distinction—Level 1 Emergency and Critical Care Facility—to two Wisconsin veterinary hospitals.

Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists in Glendale and Fox Valley Animal Referral Center in Appleton became the first two hospitals to obtain Level 1 certification under a new program administered by the San Antonio-based VECCS.

Lakeshore Surgeons and internists are on call at all hours at Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists in Glendale, Wis.
Level 1 hospitals must meet strict staffing and equipment standards, including the ability to receive small animal emergency patients around-the-clock and the full-time employment of an American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care diplomate.

Lakeshore, which operates two other hospitals in suburban Milwaukee, was certified first, edging out Fox Valley.

"Lakeshore ... continuously works to raise the level of patient and client care,” said clinical supervisor Elke Rudloff, DVM, Dipl. ACVECC. "Our status as the premier VECCS-certified Level 1 Emergency and Critical Care Facility is a testament to our efforts.”

Dr. Rudloff and Andrew Linklater, DVM, are Lakeshore’s two ACVECC diplomates.

Lakeshore reported that it met a number of other requirements, including:

• Diagnosing and managing cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, gastrointestinal, urogenital, neurologic, environmental, hematologic, hemorrhagic, toxicologic, and coagulopathic emergencies.

• Providing ongoing resources and continuing education for all technical and veterinary staff.

• Providing blood transfusion therapy.

• Offering multimodal pain management for ill and injured patients.

The VECCS certification program was unveiled in February and went public in September, said Kelli Albarado, the organization’s director of operations.

Three certification levels are available, based on when a hospital is open, the equipment utilized and the personnel present. Receiving the first Level 2 designation was Pet Emergency and Specialty Center of Marin in San Rafael, Calif. Level 3 was bestowed upon Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin in Austin, Texas.

The American Animal Hospital Association also manages a program that holds veterinary clinics to high standards. More than 3,200 members in the United States and Canada have AAHA accreditation.

None of the four VECCS-certified practices is AAHA-accredited.
Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists in Glendale, Wis., treats emergency and critical care patients and accepts referral cases in areas such as internal medicine, oncology, dermatology and dentistry.
Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists


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Critical Care Society Selects First Certified Veterinary Hospitals

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Reader Comments
I do understand emergency clinics as I have worked in them for several years, but do not now as my "education" in veterinary emergency medicine is not "approved" and "certified" by ACVECCS and thus I will not be hired and if hired some practices will no longer allow me to perform surgery as I am not "boarded" properly although I may have done more surgery than some recently "boarded" diplomates and kept up in CE. As I say about the hypocrisy in veterinary medicine, it is all ONE HEALTH or ONE MEDICINE until it becomes a specialty, then non "boarded" veterinarians should stay away. Actually I live in Portland, Oregon but would never take my pets to DOVE-LEWIS. I take to them to the EMERGENCY VETERINARY CLINIC OF TUALATIN because the non "boarded" emergency clinicians I have encountered there are great and they practice cost effective emergency medicine. That means they use their years of experience before ordering every test and work in a stepwise method.

What veterinarians do not understand is that certification schemes are also there as a means of conveying information to the public about the level of service as ACVECCS is doing but also about the quality behind that service. ACVECCS can be very proud of itself but again if no one adopts their standards then it only has meeting to the few who adopt the standards and the consumers in the market may not even care. Thus, you need an "umbrella" certification scheme and organization that becomes widely kinown and accepted. Think of AAHA as being that umbrella for all veterinary hospital operations just as you trust the over one hundred year old Underwriters Laboratory to certify so many appliances, electrical devices and other products as being safe. And here is the joke on the certification scheme, the United Kingdom through the RCVS has a practice standards certification scheme in operation for several years that certifies practices as to level of service for companion animals, emergency hospital certification and even equine practice certification, ie the umbrella organization with a nationwide system of standards that covers all practices covered under its "umbrella" of standards and certifications. Veterinarians in general have a poor knowledge of both the legal and economic consequences of licensing, certification and regulation.
Robert, Sherwood, OR
Posted: 11/30/2013 10:42:05 AM
Robert- Emergency clinics are much different than a standard day practice type of veterinary hospital so it makes sense that they would have different needs and standards to meet for emergency and critical care certification. Not all human hospitals have Level 1 Trauma centers because they don't meet the requirements for it. It's nothing to do with being a "member of a club", it's simply laying out standards for existing emergency clinics to meet to be able to say that they are certified by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. If you had a choice of going to a certified clinic where you KNOW they've met high standards, or going to some other clinic whose standards you know nothing about, which would you choose? AAHA is a great organization but their standards are not the same as VECCS because they are 2 completely different types of hospitals. This program is new, more emergency hospitals will meet the standards, and one day we'll wonder why this didn't happen sooner. I'm sorry you seem so angry at this development but I think this will be a really great thing.
Regina, Morehead, KY
Posted: 11/21/2013 3:56:32 PM
Way to go Lakeshore!!!!
Congratulations to the staff, residents, interns and all
Bob, San Diego, CA
Posted: 11/19/2013 5:34:47 PM
Certification is a great idea but if only a few hospitals are certified under this scheme then the process has little value to the public in making a decision about care because it is not widely accepted. VECCS would have been smarter to work with AAHA in developing standards together than only focusing on its own needs to the exclusion of everyone who is not a member of their club.
Robert, Sherwood, OR
Posted: 11/18/2013 1:47:51 PM
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