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It gives me a great deal of pleasure to announce two very important accreditations for Community Regional’s Echo Lab in our Non-Invasive Cardiology Department.
On April 9, we received news that the lab was granted a three-year term of accreditation in the areas of adult stress, adult transesophageal and adult transthoracic echocardiography by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). And, just a few days later, the department was granted a three-year accreditation for pediatric transthoracic echocardiography and fetal echocardiography as well!
IAC is widely respected throughout the medical community and this accreditation means our echo lab 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 provide high quality patient care in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive application process, including detailed case study review.
Our accreditation is a seal of approval our patients can rely on to know our facility has been carefully critiqued in all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of echocardiography.
Dr. Chandra Katikireddy contributed a great deal to helping secure the IAC accreditation. “CRMC’s echo department is the first one in Fresno to achieve the IAC triple accreditation,” he says. “We constantly strive to be among the best in the nation in providing the highest quality cardiovascular services. This prestigious recognition reflects the hard work, commitment, experience and expertise of our entire echo laboratory team – including the technologists, nurses, cardiology fellowship trainees and cardiologists.”
Director of Cardiology Julie Carson, RN, DBA, MHA, RCIS, points out that a lot of insurance companies will only reimburse echocardiograms at accredited facilities such as ours. Julie was instrumental in helping in the six-month accreditation process. She’s deservedly proud of the work the physicians and echo staff members do. “We’re very specialized,” Julie says. “We’re using echocardiograms for our new TAVR, aortic valve percutaneous placement in our new hybrid operating room. We’re replacing heart valves using minimally-invasive techniques instead of open heart surgery.”
Ultrasound Supervisor, Joy Guthrie, PhD, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, helped on the pediatric and fetal echocardiography accreditation. She explained, “Because of the diversity of services we have at Community Regional we’re the only hospital in the Valley that has all of these accreditations. It’s added confidence for our patients.”
Joy says she loves working with our antepartum patients and helping to diagnose serious congenital heart defects before a baby is born so that Community Regional can marshal resources early to help the baby in the delivery room and later in our NICU. The IAC noted that the “skill of the 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 testing” for these tiny, fragile patients.
I’d like to congratulate and thank both our physician partners and our dedicated echo lab team for the work they put in to help us achieve this status and provide the highest quality patient care possible.