A provincial first for our cardiac program

News / Cardiac Care
By John Pereira

Cardiac Care Network accredits KGH Echocardiography lab

The Echocardiography Lab at Kingston General Hospital is a busy place, performing roughly 7,000 tests per-year, each one requiring different specialties and skill levels. Recently the Cardiac Care Network (CCN) of Ontario was here to watch the team in action as part of its new accreditation program. KGH passed with flying colours and became the first lab in Ontario to receive its accreditation.

“We wanted to take this opportunity to see how well we were doing across the spectrum for our patients,” says Colleen Londry, Chief Sonographer. “We were excited to learn that we met all of their CCN standards. It shows that we have a great team working to provide high level care to our patients.”

It took about three months to complete the accreditation process, which included several visits by representatives from the CCN. While they were here, they watched KGH staff perform tests, reviewed our policies and safety measures, our equipment maintenance procedures and watched our infection control practices. They even went so far as to consider the physical layout of the lab and reviewed the sizes of rooms used for procedures. The report on KGH was then reviewed by a committee of Echocardiographic experts at the CCN office in Toronto, who then granted the lab its accreditation. On February 24, Assistant Deputy Minister, from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Susan Fitzpatrick came to KGH to present the lab with its accreditation certificate.

“Patient care is our priority and this process most definitely helps improve patient care here at KGH. This allows us to continually sharpen our skills and practices so we can be confident that we are always providing the highest quality of care,” says Londry.

KGH is also one of just a few hospitals in Ontario that offers such a wide range of test options. In addition to providing standard adult examinations, the lab carries out pediatric, treadmill stress, bicycle stress, Dobutamine stress, contrast and transesophageal studies.

The accreditation process reviewed all of these examinations done at KGH so that we are confident that our staff are highly skilled in all of the tests they perform. The accreditation process is currently a voluntary one, but it will become a mandated requirement for all labs in Ontario in the future. In the meantime, Londry says KGH will keep working to continually improve our practices.

“The accreditation process made us take a good look at every aspect of our lab and services and we are working hard to continue that growth.”