HICKORY, NC – Dec. 2, 2013 – Catawba Valley Medical Center
has been granted a three-year term of accreditation in adult transthoracic
echocardiography by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).
“We are excited that our staff has achieved the first hospital-based
echo lab certification in the area, for both outpatient and inpatient
echocardiography,” said Derek Luney, M.D., Catawba Valley Cardiology.
Accreditation by the IAC means that Catawba Valley Medical 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 echocardiography. IAC accreditation is widely respected
within the medical community, as illustrated by the support of the national
medical societies related to echocardiography, which include physicians
and sonographers. Echocardiography accreditation is required in some states
and regions by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and
by some private insurers. However, patients should remain vigilant in
making sure that their echocardiography procedures are performed within
accredited facilities, because accreditation remains a voluntary process
for many facilities.
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. The American Heart Association
estimates that the direct and indirect cost for cardiovascular disease
in the U.S. for 2010 was $503.2 billion.
Early detection of life threatening heart disorders and other diseases
is possible through the use of echocardiography 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 echocardiography testing. The skill of the echocardiography
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 patient testing.
About Catawba Valley Medical Center
Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC) in Hickory, N.C., is the region’s
largest not-for-profit, public healthcare system and serves the community
without direct funding from taxes. CVMC provides and promotes physical,
mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of the public in addition to
serving as a center for health education, wellness services, preventive
medicine and acute care. CVMC has received three Magnet designations from
the American Nurses Credentialing Center and has been recognized with
three Women’s Choice Awards, being named one of
Best 100 Hospitals for Patient Experience in 2012 and 2013, a
2013 Best Hospital for Patient Experience in Obstetrics andone of
America’s Best Hospitals in Orthopedics in 2013 by WomenCertified®. CVMC received the 2013 QUEST® Award for High-Value Healthcare from Premier, recognizing a reduction
in harm, mortality, readmissions and costs, while improving the patient
experience and delivering evidence-based care. For more information, please visit