What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a certification given by professional societies to signify that an organization has met certain standards. Accreditation is commonly offered in any industry that provides standardized services such as education, insurance, and health care.
Accreditation is especially important for the healthcare industry. Minimum standards ensure that patients receive the critical care they need. There are several associations that provide accreditation for medical services and facilities. Some of these include the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the American Medical Accreditation Program (AMAP), and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). Each of these associations has a different focus. The IAC provides accreditation specifically for diagnostic imaging services and intervention-based procedures.
The IAC is a nonprofit organization founded by medical professionals and has been accrediting facilities in the United States and Canada for 30 years. They offer accreditation for echocardiography, PET scans, MRIs, carotid stenting, vascular testing, and more.
Importance of IAC Accreditation
Facilities with IAC accreditation are committed to providing quality services and maintaining high standards. The result is a guaranteed quality of care for patients. According to IAC, “patients, referring physicians and potential new staff members look for the IAC seal of accreditation as the ‘gold standard’”.
Facilities without accreditation may not have the same standards as accredited organizations. Therefore, patients may not have the same positive experience and level of care as they would at an accredited facility.
Vascular Lab Accreditation
IAC provides accreditation for vascular testing, also known as vascular exams. Vascular exams are noninvasive ultrasound exams designed to image the vascular or circulatory system. To achieve IAC accreditation, vascular labs must conform to the standards and guidelines provided for vascular testing. These rigorous guidelines govern technologist training and supervision, exam interpretation and reporting, administration, record-keeping, and more. Vascular labs must also provide case studies, quality improvement data, technical protocols, and safety policies to the IAC. These documents help the IAC assess facility quality. In addition, IAC ensures maintenance of high-level standards by requiring accreditation renewal every three years and assigning random audits or site visits.
How Mint Medical Goes Above and Beyond Accreditation
Mint Medical’s vascular exam services are of the highest quality and 90% of our partners’ vascular labs have IAC accreditation. We fully manage the accreditation process from start to finish and provide ongoing lab quality maintenance.
Mint Medical is focused on providing the best care for patients and quality services for our partners. Our facilities go above and beyond accreditation standards in many cases. CC Todd-Edwards, Director of Clinical Operations at Mint Medical, shares an example. “We run the quality assurance and quality improvement meetings with [our partners]. Only two per year are required for accreditation, but we do these quarterly and sometimes monthly depending on the lab.”
Medical facilities that choose to pursue independent accreditation often have higher standards and provide a higher quality of patient care. IAC offers specific accreditation for services like vascular testing. While the process of achieving and maintaining this accreditation is rigorous, Mint Medical feels it is worth demonstrating our commitment to high standards and excellent patient care. Patients and referring providers should always take into consideration the accreditations that a facility maintains when seeking care and services.
Guest Contributor: Jordan Galerkin
- Accrediting Organizations and Quality Improvement. American Journal of Managed Care. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11184667/
- Accreditation Programs. Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. https://intersocietal.org/programs/
- Vascular Testing Standards & Guidelines. Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. https://intersocietal.org/programs/vascular-testing/standards/