ACR launches cardiac MRI accreditation program

April 2, 2007

The American College of Radiology has added cardiac MRI to its growing menu of facility accreditation programs.

The American College of Radiology has added cardiac MRI to its growing menu of facility accreditation programs.

The ACR's cardiac accreditation regime emphasizes physician competence as well as facilities' quality standards and the diagnostic thresholds achieved from the images generated by its equipment. Physicians must meet stringent education and training standards. Imaging equipment must be inspected regularly, and technologists who operate the equipment must be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

"The ACR MRI cardiac accreditation program represents a commitment to high quality standards for performance of MR of the heart. The module was developed by a multidisciplinary group of cardiovascular imagers together with the ACR. Imaging centers accredited in cardiac MR will have demonstrated their dedication to patient care and experience in cardiac MRI," said Dr. David A. Bluemke, chair of the ACR subcommittee for cardiac MRI accreditation.

The purpose of accreditation programs is to set quality standards for practices and help them continuously improve the quality of care they provide to their patients, according to the ACR. Accreditation provides an objective peer-reviewed assessment of facilities through evaluation of personnel qualifications, equipment requirements, quality assurance and quality control procedures, and clinical and phantom image quality.

"Institutions performing cardiac MRI will now be able to demonstrate their commitment to quality care and patient safety via this added component of the ACR's MRI accreditation program," said Dr. A. Joseph Borelli, chair of the ACR committee on MRI accreditation.

The ACR has a long history of providing accreditation for diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology going back as far as 1963. In 1994, the ACR became the only national body for mammography accreditation approved by the FDA under the Mammography Quality Standards Act. Quality standards for mammography facilities have been credited with saving tens of thousands of women's lives. In addition to mammography, the ACR currently has programs to accredit MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, PET, ultrasound, and radiation oncology, as well as stereotactic breast biopsy and breast ultrasound.

The expanded accreditation section of the ACR website features extensive information to help facilities start the process and to answer pertinent questions. The ACR has augmented its staff of certified radiologic technologists to readily guide providers through the accreditation process via the ACR accreditation hotline at 800/770-0145.

For more information from the Diagnostic Imaging archives:

MR imaging spots silent but deadly cardiac conditions

ACR's facility accreditation rules add M.D. peer review

Cardiac MR finds signature of broke heart syndrome

Web sites provide boost for radiology training