December 21st, 2009

Great River Heart and Vascular Center has earned accreditation from the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL). Accreditation, which is voluntary, signifies the center's commitment to producing high-quality echocardiography studies used in detecting and managing many types of heart disease.

Great River Heart and Vascular Center opened in 2006. It has two catheterization laboratories where specialists in cardiology, interventional cardiology, interventional radiology and general surgery perform an expanding variety of noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures, and vascular bypass surgery.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, costing society more than $83.7 billion annually in health services, medications and lost work time because of disability. Echocardiography is a noninvasive, complex imaging technique that provides information about cardiac structure and flow. It relies on the experience and training of physicians and sonographers, whose interpretive and technical abilities determine the diagnostic accuracy of each examination. Echocardiography has become one of the standard diagnostic tools in cardiology, with an estimated 10 million tests performed every year.  

Besides echocardiography, tests performed by health-care professionals include:

  • Electrocardiography (EKG or ECG), which measures the heart's rhythm
  • Holter monitoring, which tracks the heart's activity during daily activities
  • Stress test, an EKG or echocardiogram performed while the patient is exercising

The ICAEL, which developed the accreditation program, was established with the support of the American Society of Echocardiography, the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Pediatric Echocardiography.