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One American dies every 32 seconds of cardiovascular disease, disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, costing society over 83.7 billion dollars each year in health services, medications and lost work time due to disability. Cardiac structure and flow information provided by echocardiographic testing is useful in the detection and management of many types of heart disease. This noninvasive test has become one of the standard diagnostic tools in cardiology with an estimated 10 million echocardiograms performed annually in the United States. Echocardiography is a complex imaging technique that relies on the experience and training of both the physician and sonographer. Their interpretive and technical abilities determine the diagnostic accuracy of an echocardiographic examination. The Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) has developed an accreditation program which evaluates the quality of these and other critical elements of an echocardiography laboratory.

Erie County Medical Center Corporation located in Buffalo, NY, was granted accreditation by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL). The laboratory is one of the first one thousand echocardiography laboratories in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico to be so recognized for its commitment to high quality patient care and its provision of quality diagnostic testing.

The ICAEL was established with the support of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society of Pediatric Echocardiography (SOPE) to provide a peer review mechanism to encourage and recognize the provision of quality echocardiographic diagnostic evaluations by a process of voluntary accreditation. A non-profit organization, the ICAEL is dedicated to ensuring high quality patient care and to promoting health care.

Participation in the accreditation process is voluntary. Accreditation status signifies that the facility has been reviewed by an independent agency which recognizes the laboratory's commitment to quality testing for the diagnosis of heart disease.

NEWS CONTACT:  Joe Cirillo at 716-898-4300 or jcirillo@ecmc.edu

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2/18/2009

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