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Standards for Veterinary Practices Keep Pets in Good Health


Whether you pull out a bag of treats, cuddle together on the couch, or head to the park to play fetch, it's a joy to show your pets love and keep them happy. But keeping them healthy and safe is just as important - and that means bringing them to the veterinarian for regular checkups and visits when they experience health problems. Fortunately, many standards are in place to support effective and safe veterinary practices that keep our beloved pets feeling their best.

From spaying and neutering to treating wounds and setting broken bones, many of a veterinarian's duties require reusable medical devices that enable them to provide top-level medical care. Of course, as with medical devices used for humans, these tools must be properly cleaned and sterilized after each use. ANSI/AAMI ST15883-1:2009 (R2014), Washer-disinfectors - Part 1: General requirements, terms and definitions and tests, and ANSI/AAMI ST15883-2:2013 (R2015), Washer-disinfectors -Part 2: Requirements and tests for washer-disinfectors employing thermal disinfection for surgical instruments, anesthetic equipment, bowls, dishes, receivers, utensils, glassware, etc. are American National Standards developed by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). They provide specifications for washer disinfectors for reusable medical devices for medical, dental, pharmaceutical, and veterinary practices.

Many visits to the vet include diagnostic imaging. These x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans are typically non-invasive and painless, making them valuable tools for collecting information on your pet's health. As healthcare information technology advances, these images can be gathered and included in your pet's digital medical record. The information systems transmitting and storing these records are guided by many standards, such as ISO 12052:2017, Health informatics - Digital imaging and communication in medicine (DICOM) including workflow and data management. This standard addresses the exchange of digital information between medical imaging equipment and other systems. It was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 215, Health informatics. The U.S. holds the secretariat for this TC, with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) as TAG administrator.

A trip to the veterinarian doesn't just benefit your pet's health - it can benefit their safety, as well. Many pet owners choose to have radio-frequency identification (RFID) implanted into their animals, providing a permanent ID for the pet. If the animal runs away or gets lost, a veterinarian will be able to scan the microchip, reveal a unique ID number, and contact the owner. ISO 24631, Radiofrequency identification of animals, is a series of standards providing guidelines for this technology. ISO TC 23, Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry, subcommittee (SC) 19, Agricultural electronics, developed these standards. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) is the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to TC 23.

As much as we do for our pets to assure their well-being, they do 10 times more for us in the joy and comfort that they bring to our families. Thanks to standards for veterinary practices, we can keep our pets healthy, safe, and happy.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]