Holy Cross Hospital and Taos Medical Group Receive National Re-accreditation for Health Patients

October 14, 2011

 Holy Cross Hospital and Taos Medical group have jointly received re-accreditation for their echocardiogram program. This accreditation is given by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL).

Together both facilities have been granted a three-year term of accreditation in the area of Adult stress and Adult Transthoracic Echocardiography by ICAEL. The Taos Medical Group/Holy Cross Hospital Echocardiography Laboratory has been accredited since 2008. ICAEL grants accreditation only to those facilities that are found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive application process including detailed case study review.

To receive this accreditation the cardiology team for Holy Cross Hospital and Taos Medical Group has undergone a thorough review of its operational and technical components by a panel of experts.
Holy Cross Hospital does not produce a high enough volume of echocardiograms individually, but through the combined echo laboratories the re-accreditation was possible. “To have this accreditation for a facility of our size is remarkable and unusual,” said Peter Hofstetter, CEO for Holy Cross Hospital. “What this means is that we have met the same standards as major medical centers across the nation.”
ICAEL accreditation is widely respected within the medical community, it is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indication that the facility has been carefully critiqued on all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of echocardiography.

“An Echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart that allows us to assess structure, function, flow through the heart, whether the valves are functioning normally and assesses pressure gradients of the heart,” says Geilan Ismail, MD, Cardiologist at Taos Medical Group. “Essentially it’s a detailed technique that gives us a lot of information about blood flow and other information.”
Early detection of life threatening heart disorders and other diseases is possible through the use of echocardiography procedures performed within hospitals, outpatient centers and physicians’ offices. While these tests are very helpful, there are many facets that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on echocardiography testing. The skill of the echocardiography sonographer performing the examination, the quality of equipment used, the background and knowledge of the interpreting physician and quality assurance measures are each critical to patient testing.

In Taos we are fortunate to have a medical team that provides high quality cardiology care to patients. Dr. Ismail, FACC is Board Certified in Adult Echocardiography. She and Luis Constantine, MD, FACC, are both cardiologists that patients can feel confident going to with their heart health concerns. Alan Mahrenholz, PhD (Laboratory Technical Director) and Dragos Dumitrescu, the sonographers both hold accreditation certificates in Adult Echocardiography from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

“Everyone’s application is the same and we’ve met the same criteria for accreditation as the Heart Hospital, Mayo Clinic, and John Hopkins. We are one of 17 facilities accredited in New Mexico. ICAEL has attested that we perform high quality studies and meet accreditation standards. I feel very comfortable sending my work and studies with patients when they go to some of these major medical facilities. For a small community like Taos this is a really big deal, we’re not just a dinky little lab but on a par in adult echo with national leaders,” Dr. Ismail.