MOBILE – The echocardiography laboratories at University of South Alabama Medical Center and Knollwood Hospital are the first in south Alabama to be awarded accreditation by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL). The award, in the area of adult transthoracic echocardiography, puts them in an elite group of such laboratories in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. These laboratories are being recognized for their commitment to quality patient care and expertise in the field of non-invasive testing for the diagnosis of heart disease.
As the leading cause of death in the United States, cardiovascular disease costs society an estimated 83.7 billion dollars each year in health services, medications and lost work time due to disability. Echocardiograms are a complex imaging technique that provides information that helps physicians detect and manage 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. The test relies on the experience and training of both the physician and sonographer. The accreditation process evaluates the quality of these and other critical elements of an echocardiographic laboratory.
"The hospital administration and technical staff of USA Medical Center and Knollwood Hospital have demonstrated a strong and ongoing commitment to the development of expertise in the field of echocardiography," said Dr. Clara Massey, medical director of the USA noninvasive cardiac laboratories. "It is extremely gratifying to be recognized by the national accrediting agency for our expertise and to be recognized nationally as a local leader in noninvasive cardiac imaging."
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). Accreditation status signifies that the facility has been reviewed by an independent agency that recognizes the laboratory's commitment to quality diagnostic testing.