ACR Accreditation

Saint Joseph's Hospital Earns American College of Radiology Accreditation

Saint Joseph's Hospital has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in Nuclear Medicine as the result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR), according to Mike Bull, BS, CNMT, manager of Nuclear Medicine.

"The accreditation is a demanding process – it's completed over a 90-day span, and it's an evaluation of the gamma cameras, the equipment that we have in the Nuclear Medicine department, as well as an evaluation of our technologists, medical physicists, and physicians," said Bull. He added that policies, procedures and written protocols for specific studies are also evaluated.

Bull said substantial quality control and clinical testing is performed on the cameras, and the data and images are submitted to the ACR. "The accreditation team checks for quality, correctness, accuracy, and labeling," said Bull. "Every time we get a new piece of equipment, we have to get that piece of equipment accredited, so we're essentially repeating the entire process on an annual basis."

Saint Joseph's has seven accredited cameras, 12 technologists, and three Nuclear Medicine physicians.

The ACR, headquartered in Reston, Virginia, awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation of its practice. Evaluations are conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists, who are experts in the field. They assess the qualifications of the personnel and the adequacy of facility equipment. The surveyors report their findings to the ACR's Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the facility with a comprehensive report.

"For our patients, as well as referring physicians, it should give them a high level of confidence that the services they are receiving in Nuclear Medicine are being performed by quality technologists, physicians, and equipment," said Bull. "They are really getting a high level of service."

"We are one of about 15 sites in the state of Wisconsin that are accredited," said Bull. "When you are granted accreditation, it runs for a three-year period, and we just renewed our accreditation in March, 2006 – so we are accredited through March, 2009. "Saint Joseph's was first granted accreditation in 2003.

The American College of Radiology is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic and interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists and medical physicists with programs for focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology, and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

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