Echocardiography lab receives accreditation

Posted Sept. 04, 2009, at 10:17 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — Waldo County General Hospital has joined an elite group of five other hospitals in the state with the recent accreditation of its echocardiography laboratory.

The Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories sets the standards for echo labs, cardiologists and technologists in the United States. The ICAEL was created in 1996 by the sponsoring organizations, American Society of Echocardiography, American College of Cardiology, Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Society of Pediatric Echocardiography. Working together, representatives from these groups came up with the minimal requirements for echocardiography laboratories to provide high-quality care. These standards were used as the foundation to create realistic standards for accreditation, the hospital said in a press release.

To achieve accreditation, an echocardiography laboratory voluntarily submits to a review of its daily operations by submitting documentation on every aspect of its daily operations. Accreditation is granted only to facilities found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with ICAEL standards.

An echocardiogram is a noninvasive procedure used to examine the heart and diagnose potential problems. High-frequency sound waves, or ultrasound, are used to view the heart’s four chambers, the heart valves, the blood vessels entering and leaving the heart, and the sac around the heart.

Receiving ICAEL accreditation is just the latest achievement for WCGH’s Heart Team. In the past year, the Heart Team has:

• Received its three-year accreditation from the American College of Radiology for its Nuclear Medicine Department after a rigorous review process.

• Seen cardiologist Dr. Dennis DeSilvey of Waldo Cardiovascular Medicine earn his nuclear cardiology certification after passing an examination given by the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology.

• Recruited Dr. David Ferguson, a cardiologist for 25 years, with the past 16 years spent in private and military practice in the Washington, D.C., area, to join DeSilvey and Deborah Czuchra at Waldo Cardiovascular Medicine.

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