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195 N. El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024


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Accreditation is a major cornerstone of our practice and the special level of care we call The Drake Center Difference.
What exactly does it mean to be AAHA-accredited? This guide can help.
What is AAHA accreditation?
Unlike human hospitals, accreditation is not required for veterinary hospitals in the United States.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the only veterinary hospital organization in the country (and Canada!) that provides voluntary accreditation to companion animal hospitals that meet essential standards of excellence in every aspect of medical care.
AAHA-accredited practices are recognized among the best in the industry and in fact, only 15 percent of all small animal veterinary hospitals in the United States are accredited. An AAHA-accredited practice since 2005, The Drake Center is extremely proud to have earned this important achievement.
To maintain this status, AAHA-accredited veterinary hospitals like The Drake Center undergo on-site evaluations every three years. During the accreditation process, hospitals are assessed on approximately 900 different standards in various categories, including anesthesia, surgery, dentistry, pharmacy, laboratory, patient care, pain management, recordkeeping, cleanliness, disease prevention, client service, practice leadership, safety and continuing education.
To practice the highest level of veterinary medicine possible, all AAHA-accredited hospitals must abide by specific protocols in these areas. As AAHA’s standards for accreditation are reviewed and updated to reflect new developments and advances in veterinary medicine, protocols within an accredited practice must also be continuously revised and improved to remain on the cutting edge and ensure the highest quality of care.
Why is accreditation so important?
Accreditation is important for animal health for the same reasons it is important for human health. Without a governing body to review protocols and provide checks to ensure essential standards are being met, quality care is not a guarantee.
Meeting a universal standard allows pet owners to understand the level of care a practice provides long before ever stepping foot into the veterinary hospital.
AAHA accreditation is the most tangible way to show pet owners that our hospital is dedicated to practicing the highest level of medicine. More importantly, owners can feel confident knowing their pets are in great hands.
Learn more about why accreditation matters here