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Recognition Acknowledges Long-Term Commitment to the Performance and Interpretation of Quality Echocardiograms

University Hospital (UH), New Jersey’s only public academic medical center and the principal teaching Hospital for all Newark-based medical education, received a special milestone recognition by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). The award commemorates IAC Echocardiography accreditation for at least 10 consecutive years, demonstrating the Hospital’s long-term commitment to continuously improving patient outcomes and safety.

Patients, referring physicians, and insurers look for the IAC seal of accreditation as the ‘gold standard’ in the field of echocardiography, which is used to assess different areas of the heart and can detect heart disease or signs of serious cardiovascular conditions. Facilities that achieve IAC accreditation demonstrate a clear indicator that they provide a high-quality level of patient care. Every three years, accredited facilities undergo an intensive application and review process towards re- accreditation. The IAC accreditation process enables both the critical operational and technical components of the applicant facility to be evaluated, including representative case studies and their corresponding final reports.

“We are proud to once again be reaccredited in echocardiography by the IAC,” said Ed Jimenez, President and CEO of University Hospital. “Having accomplished the milestone of being accredited by IAC for more than 10 years is a testament to our staff’s commitment to continuous improvement and providing high-quality patient care on a regular basis. It also demonstrates our ongoing effort to be New Jersey’s premier academic medical center.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. On average, one American dies every 34 seconds of cardiovascular disease. IAC accreditation assesses the many factors that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on echocardiography. The training and experience of the sonographer performing the procedure, the type of equipment used, and the quality assessment metrics each facility is required to measure, all contribute to a positive patient outcome.

“We are proud to recognize long-time accredited echocardiography facilities through the new milestone recognition program. Since being incorporated in 1997, the IAC has helped thousands of facilities standardize their processes to provide better patient care and improved outcomes, said Mary Lally, MS, CAE, the CEO of the IAC. “As we celebrate 25 years of accrediting echocardiography facilities, the recognized facilities are true champions of accreditation. This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff who have consistently demonstrated their commitment to delivering safe, effective and compassionate care using accreditation as a quality metric.”

Several studies have been published demonstrating the impact of IAC accreditation on patient care. Specific to echocardiography, research indicates better image quality and better adherence to guidelines related to the quantification of aortic stenosis at IAC-accredited facilities. In addition, IAC-accredited echocardiography facilities have more complete reports and are more likely to communicate pertinent examination findings and demographic information. Data demonstrates that reports from IAC-accredited facilities provide a more complete representation of the patient’s cardiac status.

More than 2,800 facilities across the U.S. and Canada are currently accredited in Adult or Pediatric Echocardiography by the IAC, despite the fact that it is primarily a voluntary program and does not have a wide-scale reimbursement requirement.

About IAC

The IAC is a nonprofit organization in operation to evaluate and accredit facilities that provide diagnostic imaging and interventional-based procedures, thus improving the quality of patient care provided in private offices, clinics and hospitals where such services are performed. The IAC provides accreditation programs for vascular testing, echocardiography, nuclear/PET, MRI, diagnostic CT, dental CT, carotid stenting, vascular interventional, cardiac electrophysiology and cardiovascular catheterization. The IAC programs for accreditation are dedicated to ensuring quality patient care and promoting health care and all support one common mission: Improving health care through accreditation®. Committed to its mission through a rigorous peer review process, the IAC has granted accreditation to more than 14,000 sites since its inception in 1991. To learn more about IAC, visit www.intersocietal.org.

About University Hospital

University Hospital is part of one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers and is the ACS-verified Level I Adult and Level II Pediatric Trauma Center for Northern New Jersey. Located at University Heights in Newark, University Hospital is a principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and a regional resource for advanced services across many medical specialties. For more information about University Hospital, please visit www.uhnj.org.

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