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Vascular Ultrasound Lab Accreditation: Why it's Important

Taken from the IAC Vascular Testing Accreditaton Website

IAC accreditation demonstrates a commitment to quality care.

The purpose of the IAC Vascular Testing accreditation program is “to ensure high quality patient care and to promote health care by providing a mechanism to encourage and recognize the provision of quality vascular diagnostic evaluations by a process of accreditation.” Through the accreditation process, facilities assess every aspect of daily operation and its impact on the quality of health care provided to patients. While completing the accreditation application, facilities often identify and correct potential problems, revise protocols and validate quality improvement programs. Because accreditation is renewed every three years, a long-term commitment to quality and self-assessment is developed and maintained. Facilities may use IAC accreditation as the foundation to create and achieve realistic quality care goals.

IAC accreditation provides a confidential peer-review.

Designed to serve facilities as an educational tool, IAC accreditation is made up of two crucial steps. First, facilities conduct a detailed self-evaluation using the IAC Standards and Guidelines for Vascular Testing Accreditation and the Online Accreditation application. Completion of the application requires detailed information on all aspects of facility operation as well as the submission of actual case studies for review. The case studies are crucial in determining the facility's compliance with the IAC Standards, and are the basis for judgment of the quality of work that facilities perform. Once the self-evaluation is completed, the documents and case studies are reviewed by the IAC Vascular Testing Board of Directors. All aspects of the review are confidential.

IAC accreditation is a recruiting tool.

Accredited facilities can use their accreditation as a recruiting tool to attract the best and brightest physicians, sonographers and technologists. Talented professionals look for high-quality programs, and accreditation assures potential employees that a facility is dedicated to achieving the highest standards for patient care.

IAC accreditation is intersocietal.

The intersocietal, multi-specialty approach is the foundation of the accrediting divisions under the IAC umbrella. IAC Vascular Testing is a nonprofit organization established with the support of the sponsoring organizations. Representatives from these sponsoring organizations, including physicians, sonographers and technologists, serve on the IAC Vascular Testing Board of Directors. All areas of vascular testing were represented on the Board during the creation of the Standards for accreditation, and all areas continue to steer the accreditation process.

IAC accreditation is proven successful.

Offering accreditation for more than 20 years, the IAC Vascular Testing (formerly ICAVL) pioneered the intersocietal approach to imaging accreditation in 1990, as the first of the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) divisions to be developed. Today, reimbursement in more than 30 states hinges on either facility accreditation or technologist certification. The number of IAC Vascular Testing accredited facilities in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico continues to grow, with more than 2,600 sites currently holding the accreditation. The IAC offers multi-modality accreditation through its programs dedicated to Vascular Testing, Echocardiography, Nuclear/PET, MRI, CT / Dental CT, Carotid Stenting, Vein Center and Cardiac Electrophysiology.

IAC accreditation demonstrates accountability.

Health care organizations are held to very high levels of accountability, by peers and by the general public. In numerous states, reimbursement directives that require accreditation of the facility have been instituted by Medicare carriers as well as private, third-party insurers (please visit Payment Policies section for the current list). Similar draft payment policies are pending throughout the United States. Facilities attaining accreditation before it is required for reimbursement demonstrate a willingness to surpass current expectations. The general public and members of the vascular testing community will recognize an unmatched commitment to providing quality health care by facilities that achieve IAC accreditation.