September 19, 2018

Accreditation ensures quality cardiac diagnostics close to home

Patients in our community can rest assured they are receiving the same quality of care as those in larger centres when it comes to matters of the heart.

Renfrew Victoria Hospital’s echocardiography service has achieved three-year accreditation and met all the goals of its echocardiography quality improvement plan to ensure high quality, standardized care for patients.

Echocardiography is used to create images of the heart and its structures for the diagnosis, management and follow-up of patients with heart diseases.

Accreditation shows provincial recognition for the high quality of heart imaging currently being performed at RVH, explains Dr. Ian Burwash, Cardiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute who served as the Medical Director for RVH’s echocardiography accreditation process.

“This accreditation is another sign of how the close collaboration between RVH and University of Ottawa Heart Institute has been a win for patients. Patients can be confident that the cardiac diagnostic imaging they receive at RVH is at the same high level being provided in the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, but closer to their home,” states Dr. Burwash.

“The collaboration between the two hospitals has helped reduce the number of trips that patients need to make to the city,” adds Sean O’Reilly, RVH Echocardiographer.

Barbara Carriere, a Renfrew resident, has experienced the stress of attending appointments in the city for tests after valve replacement surgery in 2011. “It’s the frustration of parking and I’m uncomfortable driving if the weather is bad,” she shares.

Carriere says the Ottawa Heart Institute (OHI) is incredible, and she is confident that RVH’s ties to OHI programs as well as the ongoing education and training provided to RVH’s echocardiographer help to maintain the same quality of care close to home.

“It’s a wonderful service for people in Renfrew and area to have that,” she states.

As an additional benefit of the accreditation process, new technology was implemented that can enhance the detection of heart disease.

“The accreditation process provided an opportunity for RVH to introduce a medical directive for the use of echocardiographic (bubble) contrast agents to enhance scans—a service previously only available in the city,” states O’Reilly.

The contrast agent enhances the images and enables the detection of abnormalities that may otherwise not be detected, reduces the need for retests thereby decreasing stress. The availability of this technology at RVH means that patients don’t have to travel to the city to have access.

The Echocardiography Quality Improvement (EQI) accreditation process involved a day-long site visit by CorHealth Ontario to review documentation, the imaging process and case studies in May 2017. CorHealth then provided a summary report with recommendations that were used to develop a customized quality improvement plan.

Sample recommendations include standards such as examining room requirements, infection prevention and control, standardized protocols, and record storage. Once all the recommendations were implemented, a letter of confirmation stating such was sent to CorHealth.

In August 2018, RVH received a final Certificate of Achievement in recognition of achieving the standards for provision of echocardiography in Ontario.

“This is a great achievement for our medical imaging department and wonderful news for our patients,” says Randy Penney, RVH CEO and President.

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For more information, please contact:
Randy Penney, President and CEO,
Renfrew Victoria Hospital
613-432-4851, ext. 260

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