HMFW is the First Hospital in the Metroplex to Receive Accreditation for Nuclear Imaging Tests
11/08/2006

FORT WORTH, Texas – Nuclear cardiology imaging is a diagnostic test widely used by physicians to detect and evaluate heart disease in patients, but Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital (HMFW) is currently the only hospital in Dallas/Fort Worth performing these imaging tests with a seal of quality approval from the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Laboratories (ICANL).

The ICANL recently awarded HMFW's nuclear cardiology imaging laboratory with accreditation in the area of myocardial perfusion imaging following a voluntary process of detailed self evaluation and peer review by ICANL's trained reviewers. Having demonstrated its compliance with the commission's standards for nuclear cardiology imaging, the accreditation validates HMFW's commitment to quality care and accountability, according to the ICANL.

"Today's health care organizations are held to very high levels of accountability by peers and by the general public,” said Joe LaCombe, radiology imaging manager at HMFW. “By achieving ICANL accreditation, we are demonstrating a long-term commitment to quality health care and accountability which are the basis for the standards required for accreditation. It demonstrates a willingness to surpass current expectations."

Myocardial perfusion imaging is a two-part imaging test performed prior to and after patient exercise. During exercise, patients are injected with a small amount of radioactive isotope that travels through the bloodstream and into the heart. After the exercise session ends, a special camera is able to detect the radioactive isotope and takes images of the patient's heart. With those results physicians can identify defects in the heart which are caused by blocked arteries.

Patients with blocked arteries may be sent to the cardiac catheterization lab to undergo a procedure to open the blockages. This type of coordination between the nuclear imaging department and the cardiac cath lab is essential to ICANL accreditation, according to Robert Meidell, M.D, medical director for the Harris Methodist Heart Center.

“This ICANL accreditation coupled with our accreditation as a chest pain center displays HMFW's dedication to the growing number of patients affected by heart-related incidents,” Dr. Meidell said.

Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital currently operates three nuclear imaging cameras. In October, a fourth camera dedicated to cardiac imaging will be installed in the Harris Methodist Heart Center.

For more information about ICANL accreditation and the commission's standards, log on to icanl.org.

About Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital
Opened in 1930, Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital is a Magnet-designated hospital, and Tarrant County's largest and busiest hospital and regional referral center. A member of Texas Health Resources, HMFW is licensed for 710 beds and provides the following services: cardiovascular; high risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology; neurosciences; orthopedics and sports medicine; rehabilitation; adult critical care and neonatal intensive care; trauma and emergency medicine; cancer care; medical/surgical; kidney transplants; occupational health; and more. The campus is home to almost 1,000 members of the medical staff, more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and the new state-of-the-art 100-bed Harris Methodist Heart Center. For more information, please call 1-888-4-HARRIS, or visit www.TexasHealth.org/HMFW.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States. The 13-hospital system is the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served and includes Arlington Memorial Hospital, Harris Methodist Hospitals and Presbyterian Healthcare System. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.TexasHealth.org.

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