Alabama veterinary clinics that pass an American Animal Hospital Association inspection will be exempt from redundant state inspections, official said.
The new policy makes Alabama the first in the nation to accept AAHA accreditation in place of a state inspection, saving time and money, said Robert E. Pitman, DVM, president of the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
“It can be considered a member benefit of AAHA and encourage other hospitals that may be considering AAHA membership to take the big step,” Dr. Pitman said. “Also, it allows for more efficient use of our evaluators' time by not having to inspect member hospitals that exceed state standards.”
AAHA, based in Lakewood, Colo., has more than 900 standards for how animal hospitals should be run.
“I am so pleased that Alabama recognizes the rigorous nature and the standard of medical excellence required to meet the AAHA accreditation standards,” said Kate Knutson, DVM, the organization's president. “We applaud Alabama and would encourage any other states to follow their lead.”
A state surveyor will still visit every three years, but clinics that passed an AAHA evaluation will be exempt from a formal inspection.
“Clearly, AAHA standards exceed those minimum standards,” Pitman said.
Other states may benefit by following Alabama's lead, he said.
“There are many reasons to do it,” he added. “I think other states will at least consider it.”