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Chapter 700-12 MINIMUM STANDARDS

Rule 700-12-.01 Definitions

(1) "Appropriately" for the purposes of these rules means the expected level of care and environmental quality in accordance with the animal species and the scope of veterinary services being offered, as determined by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine.
(2) "As appropriate" for the purposes of these rules means the expected level of care and environmental quality in accordance with the animal species and the scope of veterinary services being offered, as determined by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine.
(3) "Clean and orderly" for the purposes of these rules means the expected level of care and environmental quality in accordance with the animal species and the scope of veterinary services being offered, as determined by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine.
(4) "Good State" for the purposes of these rules means the expected level of care and environmental quality in accordance with the animal species and the scope of veterinary services being offered, as determined by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine.
(5) "Proper" for the purposes of these rules means the expected level of care and environmental quality in accordance with the animal species and the scope of veterinary services being offered, as determined by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine.
(6) "Veterinary facility" means any premises owned or operated by a veterinarian or his or her employer where the practice of veterinary medicine occurs, including but not limited to veterinary hospitals, clinics, or mobile clinics; provided, however, that such does not include a client's private property where a licensed veterinarian treats the client's animals. For the purposes of these rules, veterinary facility does not include vehicles used for large animal ambulatory practice.

Rule 700-12-.02 Facility Standards

(1) A licensed veterinarian employed at a veterinary facility is responsible to assure that the following criteria pertaining to facilities are met:
(a) Facility must maintain appropriate federal, state and local permits.
(b) Facility must be appropriately secured.
(c) Facility must be sanitary.
(d) Facility must be well ventilated.
(e) Facility must be appropriately illuminated.
(f) Facility must be in a good state of repair.
(g) Facility walls and floors must be easily sanitized.
(h) Facility must have means for disposal of dead animals, tissue, hazardous materials, medical waste which must meet local and state requirements.
(i) Facility must have exterior legible sign.
(j) Facility must keep grounds clean and orderly, if applicable.
(k) Facility must have a restroom in working order which is maintained in a clean and orderly manner. Mobile clinics are exempt from this requirement.
(l) Facility must have clean and orderly receiving area.
(m) Facility must have a telephone answering machine or answering service available after business hours.
(n) Facility must have a holding or housing area with proper sanitation, ventilation, lighting, size, and temperature appropriate for the animal species.
(o) Facility must have appropriate waste receptacles available.
(p) Facility must have effective insect and rodent control.
(q) Facility must store pharmaceuticals, biologicals, reagents and lab samples in accordance with label directions or other instructions.
(r) Facility must have fire extinguisher with current annual inspection.
(s) Facility must post in a prominent public area a copy of the current license issued by the Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine or current online verification of licensure from the Board website for each veterinarian and veterinary technician working at the facility.

Rule 700-12-.03 Housing

(1) A licensed veterinarian at a veterinary facility is responsible to ensure that the following criteria pertaining to housing animals are met:
(a) Each animal must be contained in a secure manner.
(b) Each animal must be identified as appropriate.
(c) Contagious animals must be isolated as appropriate.

Rule 700-12-.04 Record Keeping

(1) Complete, accurate and legible records must be maintained on all animals, or animal groups, including but not limited to, animal owner information, animal identification, and veterinary care (hereinafter referred to as "patient records").
(a) All patient records must be maintained for a minimum of 3 years (including diagnostic imaging and other patient data) by the veterinary facility where the patient received treatment. If treatment is not performed at a veterinary facility, a patient record must be maintained by the veterinarian who provided treatment of the patient.
(b) The veterinarian must furnish clients with an established mailing address for obtaining patient records.
(c) The requirements of subparagraphs (a) shall not apply to a veterinarian who has retired or sold his or her professional practice if said veterinarian has notified the client of such retirement or sale and offered to provide the patient records or copies thereof to another veterinarian of the client's choice or has furnished the client with an established mailing address to submit a request for obtaining patient records.

Rule 700-12-.05 Required Equipment

(1) A licensed veterinarian employed at a veterinary facility must ensure that equipment is available as appropriate.

Rule 700-12-.06 Emergency Coverage

(1) A licensed veterinarian employed at a veterinary facility must ensure that emergency treatment or access to emergency treatment to clients with an established veterinary-client-patient relationship is provided. If emergency coverage is not provided, there must be established, documented referral coverage available to cover emergencies.

Rule 700-12-.07 Drugs and Pharmacy

(1) A licensed veterinarian employed at a veterinary facility must ensure that the following criteria pertaining to drugs and the pharmacy are met:
(a) All controlled substances must be maintained in compliance with federal and state requirements.
(b) All pharmaceuticals dispensed must be properly labeled in accordance with state and federal requirements.
(c) Outdated pharmaceuticals must be separated, stored, returned or disposed of in accordance with federal, state and local requirements.
(d) The pharmacy must be maintained in a clean and orderly manner.
(e) If utilizing controlled substances, documentation of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration certificates must be on premises.
(f) All pharmaceuticals on the premises must be properly labeled with drug name, concentration or activity, and expiration date.
(g) A valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship must be established before prescription medications can be dispensed or prescriptions released.

Rule 700-12-.08 Surgical Standards

(1) A licensed veterinarian employed at a veterinary facility must ensure that the following criteria pertaining to surgical standards are met if surgical procedures are performed in the facility:
(a) Dose and type of anesthesia, and weight and physical exam findings, as appropriate, must be recorded in the patient record.
(b) Name of licensed veterinarian performing the surgery must be recorded in the patient record.
(c) A surgery table must be used as appropriate. Such table must have an impervious surface suitable for cleaning and disinfecting. The surgical area must be clean, orderly, and well illuminated.
(d) All surgery must be performed by a licensed veterinarian utilizing aseptic technique as appropriate for the procedure.
(e) Surgical equipment must be sterilized in the following manner:
1. Cold sterilization must be limited to instruments used in minor or other procedures as appropriate, or limited to those instruments that can not be sterilized otherwise.
2. Surgical instruments other than those applicable to 1. above must be sterilized utilizing autoclave, gas, or other technique acceptable to the Board.
(f) Oxygen and equipment for administration must be available as appropriate.
(g) Facilities and equipment for resuscitation must be readily available as appropriate.

Rule 700-12-.09 Examination Area

(1) A licensed veterinarian employed at a veterinary facility must ensure that the following criteria pertaining to the examination area are met:
(a) Area must be maintained in a clean and orderly manner.
(b) Impervious waste receptacle must be provided.
(c) Disposable towels and a sink must be readily accessible as appropriate. A sink in a restroom is not considered acceptable.
(d) The examination table must have an impervious surface suitable for cleaning and disinfecting.

Rule 700-12-.10 Radiology

(1) A licensed veterinarian employed at a veterinary facility must ensure that the following criteria pertaining to radiology are met:
(a) Radiological equipment must be of sufficient quality to produce acceptable diagnostic images.
(b) Facility must comply with all federal, state, and local radiological safety requirements.
(2) If radiological services are not offered at a facility, referral radiological services should be made available.

Rule 700-12-.11 Patient Care

(1) For hospitalized or sick animals that are maintained in a veterinary facility, a licensed veterinarian must physically visit the facility and see each animal daily.
(2) Patients recovering from anesthesia must be properly monitored as appropriate.

Rule 700-12-.12 Renewal Statement

During the biennial license renewal period, each licensed veterinarian who is employed at a veterinary facility and providing veterinary care must state on his or her renewal application that the facility in which he or she is employed is in compliance with the minimum standards outlined in this Chapter. Such application form must have clear instructions on how the applicant is to complete the application subject to this requirement.