Healthful News and Resources
South Nassau in the Community
Back to "South Nassau in the Community" main page
South Nassau’s Echocardiography Lab Awarded Prestigious Accreditation, Again
The Intersocietal Commission for Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) has renewed its three-year accreditation of South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Center for Cardiovascular Health in the areas of adult stress, adult transesophageal, and adult transthoracic echocardiography.
Accreditation means that South Nassau’s Center for Cardiovascular Health has undergone a thorough review of its operational and technical components by a panel of cardiovascular experts. Accreditation is granted only to those facilities that are found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with national standards, through a comprehensive application process including a detailed case study review. 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. Participation in the accreditation process is voluntary.
Jason Freeman, MD, FACC, director of interventional cardiology at South Nassau, said, “Accreditation is a seal of approval that indicates the communities we serve can rely on us to use technologies and services in echocardiography that are recognized as effective and relevant by medical experts in the field. Accreditation demonstrates that every day we fulfill our goal of providing standard-setting care and services in echocardiography.”
Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in the United States. On average, one American dies every 39 seconds of cardiovascular disease – disorders of the heart and blood vessels. The American Heart Association estimates that the direct and indirect cost for cardiovascular disease in the U.S. for 2010 was $503.2 billion. Early detection of life threatening heart disorders and other diseases is possible through the use of echocardiography procedures, a safe, non-invasive procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to look for abnormalities in the heart chambers and valves.
The center’s clinical and non-invasive cardiologists, including Gina Day, MD, FACC, and Donna Denier, MD, FACC, specialize in trans-thoracic echocardiogram (a non-invasive, highly accurate and quick assessment of the overall health of the heart, in which a probe is placed on the chest wall of the patient to produce images of the heart); transesophageal echocardiogram (which uses a specialized probe containing an ultrasound transducer at its tip that is passed into the esophagus and is used to provide clear views of areas of the heart that would be difficult to view transthoracically); and stress echocardiogram (which involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while the patient is monitored by technology using high-frequency sound waves that produces a graphic outline of the heart's movement, valves, and chambers).
Additional cardiac imaging services offered by the center include nuclear cardiology (which generates images of the heart at work, during exercise, and at rest) and diagnostic peripheral vascular ultrasound (noninvasive diagnostic technique used to evaluate the health of blood vessels) for patients with peripheral arterial disease.
Lawrence Kanner, MD, FACC, director of electrophysiology and arrhythmia services, and the center’s staff of electrophysiologists use advanced technologies to provide timely, accurate diagnoses and therapies to treat the range of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and defibrillator complications. Services include diagnostic studies, implantation and testing of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and radio-frequency catheter ablation for the treatment of potentially fatal irregular heartbeats.
The center performs a wide range of coronary and peripheral interventional procedures, including balloon angioplasty, stenting, and thrombolytic therapy. When providing balloon angioplasty in an emergency, the center averages a door-to-balloon-time of approximately 68 minutes, which is 22 minutes faster than the medically recommended door-to-balloon time benchmark of 90 minutes. The center’s staff also includes specialists in non-invasive general cardiology.
South Nassau Communities Hospital is one of just 167 hospitals nationwide to be awarded the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Foundation’s National Cardiology Data Registry (NCDR) ACTION Registry–Get With the Guidelines (GWTG) Gold Performance Achievement Award for 2011. The GWTG program is a quality-improvement program that helps hospitals provide cardiac and stroke care in accordance with the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations. Hospitals that continually meet or exceed the nationally accepted standards, or guidelines, improve their quality patient care by turning guidelines into “lifelines”. Upon meeting specific criteria, hospitals are recognized for performance achievement if at least 85 percent of their cardiac or stroke patients are treated and discharged according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s guidelines and recommendations.