UCF Pegasus Health, the physician practice for the UCF College of Medicine, recently earned a three-year echocardiography accreditation in adult transthoracic and adult stress testing from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).
Cardiovascular disease remains the primary cause of death in the United States, causing a patient to die every 39 seconds. Early diagnosis of many cardiovascular risk factors can be achieved through the use of echocardiography, a noninvasive procedure that uses ultrasound waves to create images of the heart muscle to evaluate the size, shape and movement of the heart’s valves and chambers, as well as blood flow. Patients sent for echocardiograms often experience symptoms like shortness of breath, fainting and/or palpitations.
“For the past 20 years, echocardiography studies have been performed in physician offices and hospitals around the world, and are considered the ‘gold standard’ for diagnosing many types of heart diseases,” said Dr. Bernard Gros, a board certified cardiologist at UCF Pegasus Health and assistant professor at UCF College of Medicine. “However, this accreditation gives patients the added assurance that their echocardiography procedure meets national standards and can be accepted by other accredited facilities around the country, ultimately saving them time and money.”
During the IAC accreditation process, a panel of industry experts put the UCF Pegasus Health cardiovascular lab through a thorough review of its operational and technical components. Only facilities in strict compliance with national standards are granted accreditation. Patients can rely on the IAC’s “seal of approval” as an indicator that the facility has been carefully critiqued on all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of echocardiography.
Before scheduling an echocardiography procedure, Dr. Gros urges patients to inquire about the accreditation status of the facility where their test will be performed. It also is important to note that accreditation is required in some states and regions by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and by some private insurers.
Dr. Gros performs echocardiograms at UCF Pegasus Health’s cardiology lab, where he can administer them in conjunction with cardiac stress tests, which views the heart’s performance during exercise. He also can utilize Holter monitoring, a portable device that measures and records heart activity over a period of time, to help diagnosis irregular patterns. Besides cardiology, the practice offers internal medicine, geriatrics, nephrology, rheumatology and sports medicine.
To learn more about IAH accreditation and view a list of accredited facilities, visit www.intersocietal.org/echo/main/patients.htm.