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. According to the American Heart Association, the total direct and indirect cost of cardiovascular disease and stroke in the U.S. for 2010 was an estimated $503.2 billion.
Early detection of life threatening heart disorders and other diseases is possible through the use of nuclear cardiology procedures performed within hospitals, outpatient centers and physicians’ offices. While these tests are helpful, there are many facets that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on Nuclear Cardiology testing. The skill of the technologist 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.
First Coast Heart and Vascular Center has been granted a three-year term of accreditation in Nuclear Cardiology by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).
Accreditation by the IAC means that First Coast Heart and Vascular 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.
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 Nuclear Cardiology. When scheduled for a Nuclear Cardiology 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 www.intersocietal.org/nuclear/main/patients.htm.
IAC accreditation is widely respected within the medical community, as illustrated by the support of the national medical societies related to Nuclear Cardiology, which include physicians, technologists and medical physicists. Nuclear/PET accreditation is required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and in some cases by private insurers. However, patients should remain vigilant in making sure that their Nuclear Cardiology procedures are performed within accredited facilities, because for some facilities it remains a voluntary process.