CINCINNATI—UC Health University Hospital-based imaging services have received accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR) for all types of diagnostic imaging—an honor UC Health holds exclusively in the Cincinnati area.
"ACR accreditation is a guarantee to patients that they will receive the benefits of unprecedented quality in imaging equipment, highly trained personnel and a stern quality control program,” says Arthur Ray Morton, the senior medical physicist at University Hospital who led the accreditation review.
The Food and Drug Administration requires that all facilities providing mammography be accredited by the ACR to receive certification under the Mammography Quality Standards Act. Outpatient imaging centers offering advanced imaging modalities—including nuclear medicine, MRI, PET, and CT—must achieve ACR accreditation by January 2012 in order to comply with the Medical Improvements for Patients and Providers Act. Accreditation for all other imaging modalities offered in a hospital setting is voluntary.
University Hospital was the first ACR-accredited breast imaging Center of Excellence in Cincinnati. It remains the only facility in Cincinnati accredited for breast MRI.
"This is not only about giving the best care. It’s setting standards for the physicians, the technologists and the physicists that support the program to ensure those care expectations are met, if not exceeded,” says Morton. "They have minimum accreditation, training, and continuing education requirements. This sets the standards for care.”
ACR accreditation is a continual process and imaging facilities must reapply for the accreditation every three years. ACR-accredited facilities must maintain defined standards for the full three-year accreditation, and then go through the entire process again after the accredited term.
"The ACR sets a high threshold for quality—everything from daily calibration to radiation dose exposure in each modality must adhere to the ACR’s standards,” adds Michael Regg, clinical operations manager for the University of Cincinnati Physicians radiology practice.
"When patients see the ACR accreditation seal, they know that that the site has met very high standards for equipment, personnel, and quality of images,” adds Jannette Collins, MD, Ben Felson Professor and Chair of Radiology at the UC College of Medicine.
* This story was written by Perry Simpson, an intern in the AHC Public Relations and Communications Office.