Facility Certification

This certification recognizes emergency and critical patient care facilities that meet or exceed the guidelines formulated by VECCS as centers of excellence.

Overview

The Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS) offers a certification program aimed at raising the standard of patient care and to increase public and professional awareness of high-quality facilities in which veterinary emergency and critical care are practiced. The VECCS Facility Certification program identifies 3 certification levels based on operating hours, equipment, and personnel. VECCS advocates the following building standards, infrastructure, staffing, equipment, supplies, medical records, and resources as the requirements for VECCS Certified Facilities. This certification recognizes veterinary emergency and critical care facilities that meet or exceed the guidelines formulated by VECCS as centers of excellence, with Level I being the highest. The facility certification program identifies 3 certification levels based on operating hours, equipment, and personnel.

Evaluating Facilities

The VECCS Board of Directors has charged the Facility Certification Committee with the honor and privilege of examining the application documents from all the emergency and critical care facilities that seek to become a VECCS Certified Facility. The Committee’s task is to evaluate a hospital’s facility, its infrastructure, its business hours, its ER and ICU staff, their respective schedules, the hospital’s commitment to providing training and continuing education for all those staff who are involved in patient care, medical records, equipment and supplies, and reference resources available to their staff. VECCS and the Facility Certification Committee have no intention to judge the quality of medicine that is practiced within a facility, or to evaluate their business decisions, policies, and procedures. The certification process is entirely electronic and does not involve site visits. This trust-based approach is designed to reduce the costs of the certification program and requires each hospital to provide written and pictorial documentation of its facilities, staffing, and equipment.

Review Process

Once an application has been submitted, the VECCS Facility Certification Committee will review the application to confirm all requirements have been met. The typical time from application submission to Facility Certification is between 4-6 weeks. If all the requirements have not been met, the facility will be contacted to provide corrections. Corrections must be submitted within 60 days, or a New Application must be submitted. Once approved, the facility will be VECCS Certified for 2 years from the date of approval. 

Compliance

Certified facilities are expected to remain in compliance with the guidelines in place at the time they were certified, for the full term of certification. Upon applying for re-certification, it is also expected that the required criteria not revisited during re-certification remain in compliance. If, for any reason, the facility falls out of compliance with these guidelines, it is their responsibility to promptly notify the VECCS office and cease representing themselves as a certified facility. Whether certification ceases due to expiration or non-compliance, facilities must immediately update any marketing materials, websites, or other public-facing documents and discontinue the use of certification marks or logos that imply certification until the facility regains certification.

Facility Certification Requirements
Level Differentiation

The VECCS Facility Certification program identifies 3 certification levels based on operating hours, equipment, and personnel. VECCS advocates the following building standards, infrastructure, staffing, equipment, supplies, medical records, and resources as the requirements for VECCS Certified Facilities. This certification recognizes veterinary emergency and critical care facilities that meet or exceed the guidelines formulated by VECCS as centers of excellence, with Level I being the highest. 

Level III

Level III facilities are facilities that meet all the requirements with the exception of those specified for Level II and Level I facilities. 

Level II

Level II facilities must meet the requirements listed below, in addition to all Level III requirements.

View full list of requirements here.

  • Open to receive emergency patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • Additional medications readily available:
    • Magnesium sulfate or magnesium chloride
    • Sodium phosphate or potassium phosphate
    • Diltiazem
    • Norepinephrine
    • Procainamide
    • Sodium nitroprusside, or hydralazine
  • Anesthesia ventilator
  • Central venous catheters
  • Crystalloid maintenance fluids (Plasmalyte 56, 0.45% saline w 5% dextrose, Normosol-M)
  • Defibrillator
  • Endoscopy equipment
  • Dedicated monitoring equipment for ER/ICU
  • RECOVER posters in a third area of the hospital (in addition to triage/receiving area and an area where anesthesia is used)
  • Capability to perform blood gas testing
  • Capability for high-flow oxygen
  • Capability to provide partial parenteral nutrition
  • At least 1 Internal Medicine specialist employed full time
  • At least 1 Surgery specialist employed full time
Level I

Level I facilities must meet the requirements listed below, in addition to all Level II and Level III requirements.

View full list of requirements here.

  • Backup power supply
  • Invasive blood pressure monitoring equipment
  • Bronchoscopy equipment
  • CT scanner
  • Echocardiography equipment
  • ICU ventilator
  • Capability to provide total parenteral nutrition
  • At least 1 Emergency and Critical Care specialist employed full time
  • At least 2 VTS(ECC) technicians employed full time

Apply for Certification

The certification process is entirely electronic and does not involve site visits. This trust-based approach is designed to reduce the costs of the certification program and requires each hospital to provide written and pictorial documentation of its facilities, staffing, and equipment. All application materials are submitted electronically.

Step 1:

Download Application Guidelines

Please download and review the following documents:

  1. Facility Certification Guidelines
  2. CE Log Template

Step 2:

Account Setup

Account Setup Instructions:

  1. Create or Login to an Account
  2. Select ‘Start Entry’
  3. Under Program Select ‘VECCS’
  4. Under Category Select a ‘Facility Certification’
  5. Select application type: ‘New Application’
  6. Name Your Entry The Same as Your Facility’s Name

Step 3:

Submit Application

New Application:

$500.00; includes a non-refundable application fee of $250.00 and an approval fee of $250.00.

Re-Certification Fee:

$400.00; includes a non-refundable application fee of $200.00 and an approval fee of $200.00.

Once an application has been submitted, the VECCS Facility Certification committee will review the application to confirm all requirements have been met. The typical time from application submission to Facility Certification is between 4-6 weeks. If all the requirements have not been met, the facility will be contacted to provide corrections. Corrections must be submitted within 60 days, or a New Application must be submitted. Once approved, the facility will be VECCS Certified for 2 years from the date of approval. 

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