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Virginia Mason’s Echo Lab the Only Fully Accredited Lab in Western Washington and One of the First 1,000 Labs Accredited by ICAEL in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico

SEATTLE, Wash. – (July 20, 2006) – The Echocardiography Laboratory at The Heart Institute at Virginia Mason has once again received full accreditation by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL). Virginia Mason’s echo lab remains the only fully accredited echocardiography service in western Washington – and has been since ICAEL accreditation was first awarded in 2000.

“Echocardiography is the most powerful test we have to quickly tell us how well the heart is working, and it is a complex imaging technique relying on the experience and training of both physicians and sonographers,” says Virginia Mason cardiologist Ted Gibbons, MD, Medical Director, Echocardiography and Deputy Chief, Department of Medicine. “Because the interpretive and technical abilities of these professionals determines the diagnostic accuracy of an echo exam, accreditation is important for validating the service quality available in a cardiology program.”

Noninvasive echocardiography has become the central standard diagnostic tool in cardiology, with an estimated 10 million echocardiograms performed annually in the United States. Virginia Mason’s Echocardiography Laboratory, part of The Heart Institute at Virginia Mason, performs nearly 11,000 procedures annually, making it the leader in the Puget Sound region. Echocardiography services are offered at Virginia Mason’s Seattle Main Campus as well its clinics in Bellevue, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Winslow and Federal Way.

The ICAEL was established with the support of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society of Pediatric Echocardiography (SOPE).

For more information about The Heart Institute at Virginia Mason, visit VirginiaMason.org/heart.

Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care Seattle hospital. In addition, Virginia Mason has a network of clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area and manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and adult day health program for people living with HIV/AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason. For more information, visit VirginiaMason.org.

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