National Jewish Health Echocardiography Laboratory
JANUARY 29, 2009
DENVER — The Echocardiography Laboratory at National Jewish Health was accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL). This accreditation recognizes National Jewish Health's Echocardiography Laboratory's commitment to high quality patient care and quality cardiac diagnostic testing.
"Our echocardiography laboratory is one of the first one thousand labs in the U.S. and Canada to be accredited," said Howard D. Weinberger, MD, FACC, FACP, Head of the Division of Cardiology and medical director of the Cardiology Procedure Unit at National Jewish Health. This accreditation demonstrates to patients and referring physicians the highest quality of diagnostic Echocardiography testing at National Jewish Health."
Through the accreditation process, laboratories assess every aspect of daily operation and its impact on the quality of healthcare provided to patients. While completing the accreditation application, laboratories often identify and correct potential problems, revising protocols and validating quality assurance programs. Because accreditation is renewed every three years, a long-term commitment to quality and self-assessment is developed and maintained.
This is also significant because the U.S. Congress has passed a bill that all providers of advanced diagnostic imaging services must obtain accreditation as a condition for Medicare reimbursement by 2012, according to the ICAEL.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, costing society over $83.7 billion each year in health services, medications and lost work time due to disability. The ICAEL was established to provide a peer review mechanism to encourage and recognize the provision of quality echocardiographic diagnostic evaluations by a process of voluntary accreditation.
Echocardiographic testing is a noninvasive test has become one of the standard diagnostic tools in cardiology with an estimated 10 million echocardiograms performed annually in the U.S. It provides useful information on cardiac structure and blood flow that can help detect and manage of many types of heart disease.
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 echocardiographic examination.
Participation in the accreditation process was voluntary. Accreditation status signifies that the facility has been reviewed by an independent agency that recognizes the commitment by National Jewish Health to quality testing for the diagnosis of heart disease.