Providence Medford earns echocardiography accreditation

April 08, 2013
Providence Medford Medical Center has been granted a three-year term of accreditation in echocardiography by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.
Accreditation by the IAC means that Providence Medford Medical Center has undergone a thorough review of its operational and technical components by a panel of experts. The IAC grants accreditation only to those facilities that are found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive application process including detailed case study review.

“This accreditation marks a standard of excellence and quality of care as it pertains to the integrity of images, reporting, timeliness of studies and the entire process of echocardiography,” said Jane Broten, director of heart and vascular services at Providence Medford. “We earned IAC accreditation in the area of adult transthoracic procedures.”

Echocardiography uses sound waves to study a patient’s heart, helping detect possible life-threatening disorders. Through echocardiography, images can be produced showing the size of a patient’s heart as well as its muscle and valve activity. Cardiovascular diseases are the No. 1 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. The American Heart Association estimates that the direct and indirect cost for cardiovascular disease in the U.S. for 2010 was $503.2 billion.

Early detection of life threatening heart disorders and other diseases is possible through the use of echocardiography procedures. While these tests are helpful, there are many facets that 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 are each critical to quality patient testing.

“Echocardiography assesses various types of abnormalities and dysfunction in the mechanical nature of the heart,” James Cook, M.D., medical director of the echocardiography lab and Providence Medical Group-Cardiology. “This IAC accreditation is recognition of the quality and standardization of what we do when it comes to echocardiography. It’s a stamp of excellence.”

Chris Glatte, RDCS, technology director for Providence Medford, began the accreditation process almost a year ago and was notified of its acceptance in late March. IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indication that the facility has been carefully critiqued on all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of echocardiography.

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 and can learn more by visiting the organization's website.