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July 3, 1998     Cape Gazette
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July 3, 1998

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CAPE GAZETIE, Friday, July 3 - July 9, 1998 - 47 Beebe's vascular lab earns national accreditati(m There are more than 6,000 hos- pitals in the United States. Beebe Medical Center is among the 827 that have completed the rigorous application process required for accreditation by the Intersocietai Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories. "The accreditation is a pretty big deal. It's very involved and la- bor intensive," said Lynn Amey, B.S.N., R.N., R.V.T., C.V.N., di- rector of the Beebe Medical Cen- ter Vascular Lab. Currently, accreditation is not required for vascular labs that per- form the tests used to diagnose circulatory system disease and im- pairment. The Intersocietal Com- mission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL) offers the only examination process by which a vascular lab can demonstrate a commitment to providing quality patient care. The ICAVL is a nonprofit orga- nization supported by 10 medical societies representing the medical specialties of radiology, ultra- sonography, vascular surgery, neurology, cardiology, neuro- surgery and internal medicine. Labs must provide detailed docu- mentation on their facility and equipment, testing standards, quality-control measures, record- keeping procedures and staff qual- ifications. "It's very unusual for a commu- nity hospital this size to even have a dedicated vascular lab. Usually, the radiology and cardiac depart- ments each do a little," said Amey. "A lot of community hospitals, and even larger hospitals, plan to get accredited, but when the ICAVL sends its packet, it finds it's very intimidating and it's hard to find the time to get to it," she said. This is the second accreditation for Beebe Medical Center Vascu- lar Laboratory. The laboratory was awarded its first accreditation in 1994, when only 475 other f- cilities had earned those creden- tials. That was quite an achieve- ment for a laboratory established only four years earlier. However, familiarity with the process didn't make it any easier to assemble the necessary documentation for the 1998 recertification, especially because the department has dou- bled in size since the first accredi- tation. Beebe Medical Center estab- lished the vascular laboratory as a separate department in June 1990, with Dr. Mayer Katz as medical director and a staff of two technol- ogists. Today, the staff has grown to six, with four technologists and a second board-eligible vascular surgeon, Dr. Stephen M. Gemmet. The number of studies conducted has also increased; according to Amey, the department performs 300 tests each month. Beebe Medical Center vascular laboratory offers physician pre- scribed ultrasound technology as an aid to diagnosing blockage, damage and disease of the arteries and veins. High frequency sound waves, inaudible to humans, di- rected through the skin and into underlying tissues, bounce back to be recorded on a monitor. Amey explained that there are three separate modes of ultra- sound testing, all noninvasive, all painless, all taking less than 30 minutes. Patients are not required to fast before testing and remove only outer clothing from the area to be tested. Ultrasound produces a two-di- mensional image in which the physician can see plaque deposits within the blood vessels. Plaque may build up to such an extent that blood flow is severely con- stricted. Ultrasound testing uses Doppler technology to measure the actual velocity of blood flow as a way to pinpoint areas of blockage. The use of duplex imaging provides a color display of the direction of blood flow that helps pinpoint where a vessel is blocked. The test information supplied to the attending physician includes a complete videotape of the actual procedure as well as hard copy documentation. The doctor can, in effect, actually witness the test be- fore making a diagnosis. In applying for accreditation, Beebe Medical Center vascular laboratory had to document the procedures used in performing and recording these tests, as well as follow-up care. The department has a computerized traCking sys- tem that monitors all patients with peripheral vascular disease or who have had vascular surgery. Surgery patients are usually stud- ied within 30 days of release, then again at regular intervals. Patients with known vascular disease are contacted for regular studies. "We follow them very closely, and most patients are very happy about that," said Amey. One of the most important as- pects of the accreditation process is an evaluation of staff creden- tials. Ultrasound testing is not easy. Simply holding the ultra- sound probe at an incorrect angle can produce an improper image, which may lead to an incorrect di- agnosis. Interpretation of test im- ages can be complicated, especial- ly in patients with multiple health problems. Recent media attention has alerted the public about the impor- tance of insisting that qualified technologists perform vascular testing. Unfortunately, many states do not have laws governing the li- cense or accreditation of ultra- sound technologies. Vascular and ultrasound technologists may, however, voluntarily apply for certification by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Preparatory education is from two to four years, followed by demonstrated competence, before an applicant can even attempt the comprehensive written examina- tion for registration. Registered vascular technologists must renew their certification every year and must complete 30 continuing edu- cation credits over each three-year period. "These are very sensitive tests, and its crucial that you have peo- ple who know what they're do- ing," Amey said. "Beebe is very fortunate in that all of our technol- ogists are registered vascular tech- nologists and two of us are also Continued on page 48 THE CENTER FOR NEUROLOGY, NEUROSURGERY, AND PAIN IVIANAGEMENT PA IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT PAUL C. PEET, M.D. HAS JOINED OUR PRACTICE. DR. PEET IS NOW ACCEPTING CLIENTS AT OUR LEWES OFFICE LOCATION" 1540 SAVANNAH ROAD, Sorr00 C LEWEs, DE 19958 302-645-7213 FREE Health Seminar from Sbe Medical Center "I Can't Sleep. I Can't Stay Awake." The problems of insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness TUESDAY, JULY 7, 1998 SPEAKER: Dr. Michael Salvatore Board Certified Pulmonologtst Beebe Medical Center Sleep Disorders Center LOCATION: Lewes Public Library /ewes TIME: 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Beebe Medical Center This is a free seminar. Please call 645-3332 to register. 424 Savannah Rd., Lewes, DE