The Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society recently renewed the certification of the Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Service at the University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center as a level II facility. The VECCS offers a certification program to veterinary hospitals that provide patients with emergency and critical care. The purpose of this certification is to recognize those hospitals that meet and exceed VECCS minimum standards and guidelines published by VECCS. VECCS established certifications in the hope of raising standards of care while also increasing public and professional awareness of veterinary emergency and critical care.
The certification program identifies three levels based on facility operating hours, equipment and personnel. VECCS identifies level II facilities as providing 24-hour acute care with the medical staff, personnel and training necessary to provide emergent and critical patient care. The facility must be open to receive small animal emergency patients 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year.
Currently, the VHC can provide small animal care for emergency patients from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, but after 10 p.m. can provide those services only to established patients of the VHC. However, VECCS certified the VHC Small Animal Emergency Service considering current staffing shortages and the intent to fully re-open as a 24-hour facility at some point in the future. More information about emergency hours can be found here: https://vhc.missouri.edu/emergency-services/.
The VHC’s Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Service treats cases that range from minor respiratory issues to severe trauma. Common emergencies that are treated include gastrointestinal issues from the ingestion of foreign bodies, as well as neurologic emergencies resulting in paralysis or seizures. Under the VECCS level II certification, it indicates that the facility at the CVM can diagnose and treat all these cases and more.
“What certification does is it basically tells the public what capabilities you have at your hospital,” said Tony Mann, DVM, MS, director of Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care at Mizzou. “With all of the specialists we have in our hospital, it was very easy to satisfy the medical criteria.”
More information regarding the certification requirements for a level II facility, can be found on the VECCS website at www.veccs.org under the facility certification tab.