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Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota’s Cardiology Program receives national pediatric echocardiography accreditation

Children’s Echocardiography Labs are First in the State to Receive Pediatric Distinction

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (May 5, 2008) — Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota with Children’s Heart Clinic, announced today that its echocardiography laboratories in Minneapolis and St. Paul received national accreditation in pediatric transthoracic echocardiography from the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL). The laboratories are part of Children’s Cardiovascular Services, a collaboration with Children’s Heart Clinic. Children’s labs are the first and only in Minnesota to receive such accreditation.

The distinction recognizes Children’s for its commitment to high quality patient care and its provision of quality diagnostic testing. The rigorous accreditation process is achieved through a peer review of staff credentials, policies and protocols for daily operations, and a review of actual case studies in order to verify compliance with the highest-quality procedures.

Echocardiology is a complex imaging technique that uses ultrasound waves to create an image of the beating heart. It is an essential, non-invasive tool in diagnosing and treating heart conditions, including those that are acquired or congenital. Echocardiography relies on the expertise and training of both the sonographer and cardiologist. Their interpretive and technical abilities determine the accuracy of an echocardiogram. Children’s Heart Clinic cardiologists interpret over 10,000 pediatric echocardiograms each year.

“We are honored to be the first labs in Minnesota to receive this national distinction,” said Greg Wright, MD, Children’s Chief of Critical Care and Children’s Heart Clinic cardiologist. “It is such a testament to the commitment of our cardiologists and sonographers to provide the highest quality diagnostic care to the children we serve.”

The ICAEL was established with the support of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) and the Society of Pediatric Echocardiography (SOPE). It provides accreditation through a voluntary, peer-review process to recognize health care organizations that provide quality echocardiographic diagnostic evaluations.

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Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is the seventh-largest children’s health care organization in the U.S., with 332-staffed beds at its two hospital campuses in St. Paul and Minneapolis. An independent, not-for-profit health care system, Children’s of Minnesota provides care through more than 14,000 inpatient visits and more than 200,000 emergency room and other outpatient visits each year.

Children’s Heart Clinic is the regional resource for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in the fetus, newborn, infant, child, and young adult and for adults with congenital heart disease.  Since its beginning over 30 years ago, the Children’s Heart Clinic has flourished to become a group of two pediatric cardiovascular surgeons and nine pediatric cardiologists.