Certification process intensive; Suggested idea to employee three years ago
As of March 31, the WSU’s veterinary teaching hospital was officially certified as a level I facility by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. This makes the hospital the only Level I facility in the state.
VECCS is the largest emergency and intensive care veterinary organization in the United States, said Beth Davidow, clinical professor at WSU in the hospital’s emergency and intensive care unit.
There are three levels of certification, with Level I being the highest. Sarah Huston, a licensed emergency and critical care veterinary technician, wrote in a statement.
Certification as a Level I facility means the hospital will be able to practice the highest standard of veterinary medicine in an emergency and intensive care unit, Huston said.
“More importantly, the emergency and intensive care team knows that there is a high level of education across the team,” she said.
Huston led the certification process after the idea was brought to them three years ago. She said it was a big project to prove that the hospital qualified for Level I certification.
“VECCS has a very intensive application for the certification levels, and the certification itself was a lot of work,” she said.
Huston said she took photos, made videos, wrote logs, and gathered information about the hospital’s team while applying.
To qualify as a Level I facility, hospitals must demonstrate that all level requirements are met. This includes having surgeons and radiologists available for emergencies and having the facility certified by specialist doctors in emergency protocol maintenance, Davidow said.
The WSU is the only veterinary teaching hospital in Washington state, she said.
Davidow said the hospital is important because it is the only pet emergency facility within an hour and a half.
“Staff have access to a blood bank, radiologists, cardiologists and neurologists so they can all work together to provide the really critically ill animal care at the time,” she said.
According to Davidow, the hospital’s staff receive additional training every year to ensure they remain top-notch professionals.
The hospital provides emergency animal care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, she said.