(Sioux Falls, SD) Each year 35,000 babies (nearly 1 in 100) are born in the United Sates with some type of congenital heart defect, making it the most common birth defect in newborns. It is also the most critical, as congenital heart defects cause more deaths during the first year of life than any other birth defect. Over the past few decades, however, diagnosis and treatment has improved, allowing almost all affected children to not only grow into adulthood, but to thrive.
Among the advanced diagnostic tools available, a noninvasive ultrasound study called an echocardiogram is commonly used to evaluate heart structure and function. The skill of the 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.
Sanford USD Medical Center located in Sioux Falls, SD, has been granted a three-year term of accreditation in the areas of Fetal, Pediatric Transesophageal and Pediatric Transthoracic by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL).
“Having accreditation by ICAEL for pediatric echocardiograms means that our services are held at a higher standard. It demonstrates our commitment to excellence in providing superior care to our patients,” said Theresa Stamato, MD, pediatric cardiologist with Sanford Children’s.
Accreditation by the ICAEL means that Sanford USD Medical Center has undergone a thorough review of its operational and technical components by a panel of experts. The ICAEL 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. ICAEL 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. Learn more by visiting www.icael.org/icael/main/patients.htm.