Milestones & News

Stony Brook University Heart Institute's Echocardiography Laboratory Earns Three-Year Reaccreditation

Only Suffolk County Laboratory Accredited in All Three Areas of Echocardiography

STONY BROOK, NY, April 17, 2013 — The adult Echocardiography Laboratory of Stony Brook University Heart Institute has been granted a three-year reaccreditation in echocardiography for adult transthoracic, adult transesophageal and adult stress by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). The accreditation also extends to Stony Brook's echocardiography outpatient facilities in Hauppauge and East Setauket. It is effective through 2016.

Accreditation by the IAC means that Stony Brook has undergone a thorough review of its operational, technical and interpretive components by a panel of experts. The IAC grants accreditation only to facilities that provide quality patient care, in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive application process, including detailed case study review.

"Stony Brook Heart Institute's approval from the IAC is important because it lets patients know that when they have an echocardiogram performed at our institution, it will be of the highest standard," said Smadar Kort, MD, FACC, FASE, Director, Noninvasive Cardiology, Cardiovascular Imaging and Echocardiography, and Director, Valve Center. "This distinction is a reflection of our entire team - cardiology attending physicians, sonographers, nurses and support staff - and their commitment to accuracy, quality and safety."

Celebrating a three-year reaccreditation of the adult Echocardiography Laboratory of Stony Brook University Heart Institute are, left to right, front row: Carol Ruane, RN, Non Invasive Cardiology Clinician; Noelle Mann, MD, FACC; Smadar Kort, MD, FACC, FASE, Director Echocardiography; Howard Novotny, MD, FACC; and Laura Buzzanca, RDCS, RDMS, Technical Director Echocardiography; and back row: Christina DiMaria, RDCS, RDMS, RVT; Nicole Zafiris, RDCS; Kari Mygland; Christie Fernandez, RDCS; Barbara Blizzard, RDCS, RDMS; Kelly Stabile, RN; Malinda Martinez, RN; Andrea Cassidy, RN; Visamma Abraham, RN; Michelle Anderson, RDCS; Jennifer Pierce, RDCS, RDMS; Roman Tutay, RDCS; Rose Felizardo, RN; and Christine Erin Simmone Lechoocke.

Early detection of life-threatening heart disorders and other diseases is possible through the use of echocardiography testing, a complex imaging technique that relies on the skill of the sonographer performing the examination; the type of equipment used; the background and knowledge of the interpreting physician; and quality assurance measures. The interpretive and technical abilities of both the physician and the sonographer determine the accuracy of an echocardiographic examination.

The Echocardiography Laboratory at Stony Brook provides comprehensive state-of-the-art diagnostic evaluation using transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiograms, as well as stress echocardiograms, and performs more than 12,700 noninvasive imaging studies each year. It is the only laboratory in Suffolk County and one of only 30 in New York State to achieve triple accreditation from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission in all three forms of adult echocardiography - transthoracic, tranesophageal and stress.

"When patients come to Stony Brook Heart Institute, whether for diagnosis or for a procedure, we want them to have confidence that they will be cared for by an experienced and expert team," said William E. Lawson, MD, FACP, FACC, FSCAI, Co-Director, Stony Brook Heart Institute and Interim Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. "The IAC approval in all three echocardiography categories demonstrates our distinct capabilities in this important aspect of cardiac care."

Hal Skopicki, MD, PhD, Director of the Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathy Program at Stony Brook University Hospital and Co-Director of the VAD Program, said the success of Stony Brook's VAD program is the result of a joint effort by a large network of cardiologists on Long Island, combined with Stony Brook's multidisciplinary treatment team - including gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, nephrologists, infectious disease specialists, psychiatrists and hematology/oncologists. "Together, we marshal our efforts to create excellent outcomes for our patients," he said.

Cardiovascular disease is 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.