National Accreditation for Echocardiography
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November 10, 2010
Fawcett Memorial Hospital Receives National Accreditation for Echocardiography
Port Charlotte, FL – Fawcett Memorial Hospital is proud to announce that its Cardiovascular Services team has been recognized by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) with a three year accreditation for excellence in echocardiography. Echocardiography is a complex imaging technique that relies on the experience and training of both the physician and sonographer. Their interpretive and technical abilities determine the diagnostic accuracy of an echocardiography examination, known as an echocardiogram. Fawcett’s Echocardiography Lab is the only accredited facility in Charlotte County.
An echocardiogram test uses ultrasound to examine the heart. The results can provide single-dimension images, known as M-mode Echo that allows accurate measurement of the heart chambers. The echocardiogram also offers far more sophisticated and advanced imaging results, known as two- dimensional (2-D) Echo and is also capable of displaying a cross-sectional "slice" of the beating heart. This view includes the chambers, valves and the major blood vessels that exit from the left and right ventricle. An echocardiogram is an invaluable tool in providing the doctor with important information about the size of the heart chambers, the pumping function to tell if the heart is normal or reduced to a mild or severe degree, the thickness and movement of each heart valve to determine if the valve is normal or scarred from an infection or rheumatic fever, thickened, calcified, or torn.
One American dies every 32 seconds of cardiovascular disease, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. The costs exceed 83.7 billion dollars each year in healthcare services, medications and lost work time due to disability. These statistics are the reason why detection and early intervention are so important. Echocardiography testing is used in the detection and management of many types of heart disease. This noninvasive test has become one of the standard diagnostic tools in cardiology with an estimated 10 million echocardiograms performed annually in the United States. Locally, approximately 2,600 echocardiograms are performed at Fawcett Memorial Hospital each year.
The Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) developed an accreditation program to evaluate the quality of these and other critical elements of an echocardiography laboratory. Fawcett Memorial Hospital met or exceeded the high standards set by this national accrediting body, to earn its three year accreditation. The laboratory is one of a growing number of echocardiography laboratories in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico to be recognized for its commitment to high quality patient care and its provision of quality diagnostic testing. “Congratulations to Betsy Rager, Registered Cardiac Sonographer, and her team for this impressive achievement,” said Leela Beers, Director of Cardiovascular Services at Fawcett Memorial Hospital. “Their commitment to quality service and patient care earned this distinction. Our team earned national recognition from the Society of Chest Pain Centers, making Fawcett the only hospital in Charlotte County with an accredited Chest Pain Center with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention. Now, we’ve earned national Echocardiography accreditation. I could not be more proud to lead this exceptional team of professionals.”
The ICAEL was established with the support of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society of Pediatric Echocardiography (SOPE) to provide a peer review mechanism to encourage and recognize the provision of quality echocardiography diagnostic evaluations by a process of voluntary accreditation. A non-profit organization, the ICAEL is dedicated to ensuring high quality patient care and to promoting health care.
Participation in the accreditation process is voluntary. Accreditation status signifies that the facility has been reviewed by an independent agency which recognizes the laboratory’s commitment to quality for the diagnosis of heart disease.