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Health Break: Accreditation symbolizes high standard in cardiac catheterization care

Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence recently awarded Mount Nittany Medical Center full accreditation for our cardiac catheterization lab.

ACE is an organization sponsored by the American College of Cardiology and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. These organizations determine and write the guidelines for the types of procedures we perform. They set the gold standards for these procedures, so to receive this prestigious accreditation shows that Mount Nittany Medical Center meets or exceeds the gold standards of care in the catheterization lab.

The Mount Nittany Medical Center cardiac catheterization program began in 2007, and we have always been dedicated to providing the best possible service to the community.

The lab houses special imaging equipment that performs the cardiac catheterization procedure through an artery in a patient’s wrist or in the thigh. The procedure involves advancing a thin, plastic tube (called a catheter) into the heart. We then inject dye through the arteries of the heart to see if there are any blockages. We also use catheterization procedures to assess pressures inside the heart, or to assess the valves or sometimes heart function, but the primary reason is to look at the arteries.

These procedures can fall into two categories: “diagnostic,” where we’re just obtaining information; or “interventional,” where we’re going to work on a patient’s blocked artery. An interventional procedure may be performed in an acute setting, such as if someone is having a heart attack; or during a scheduled procedure, such as when someone has a chronic blockage that needs to be opened.

The type of accreditation we achieved through ACE covers both diagnostic and interventional catheterizations, so it required a lot of hard work, time and dedication from our staff. Just because we’ve achieved the accreditation, though, doesn’t mean our hard work is over. We have to work just as hard now to make sure that we continue to meet and exceed all of the quality components that ACE requires.

Patients should feel confident that the cardiac catheterization team at Mount Nittany Medical Center is fully trained and expertly skilled to care for them and their families.

Mount Nittany Health cardiology services are offered in State College, Mifflin County and Penns Valley. To learn more, visit mountnittany.org.

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