Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in the United States. On average, one American dies every 39 seconds of cardiovascular disease – disorders of the heart and blood vessels.
Early detection of life threatening heart disorders and other diseases is possible through the use of Echocardiography procedures performed within hospitals, outpatient centers, and physicians’ offices. While these tests are helpful, many facets contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on Echocardiography testing: the skill of the Echocardiography sonographer performing the examination, the type of equipment used, the background and knowledge of the interpreting physician, and quality assurance measures.
OSF St. Joseph Medical Center and OSF Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center have been granted a three-year term of accreditation in Echocardiography in the areas of Adult Transthoracic by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).
Accreditation by the IAC means OSF St. Joseph and OSF Saint James have undergone a thorough review of its operational and technical components by a panel of experts. The IAC grants accreditation only to those facilities found to be providing quality patient care in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive application process including detailed case study review.
“IAC accreditation is a ‘seal of approval' patients can rely on,” says Donna Sandage, Cardiology Services Manager, OSF St. Joseph Medical Center. “It is quite an accomplishment to receive accreditation in Echocardiography by the IAC. It shows we are committed to serving our communities with the highest quality of care by providing excellent diagnostic services resulting in positive patient outcomes,” says Michelle Masching, Director of Cardiology Services, OSF Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center.
IAC accreditation is widely respected within the medical community, as illustrated by the support of the national medical societies related to Echocardiography, which include physicians and sonographers. Echocardiography accreditation is required in some states and regions by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and by some private insurers. However, patients should remain vigilant in making sure their Echocardiography procedures are performed within accredited facilities, because for many facilities, accreditation remains a voluntary process.
When scheduled for an Echocardiography procedure, patients are encouraged to inquire as to the accreditation status of the facility where their examination will be performed. Patients can learn more by visiting www.intersocietal.org/echo/main/patients.htm.