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Health break: Mount Nittany Medical Center achieves ACE reaccreditation

It has been just more than one year since we first received full accreditation for our cardiac catheterization lab through the Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence organization.

ACE is sponsored by the American College of Cardiology and another organization called the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. These are the two main organizations that 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 we are meeting or exceeding the gold standards in providing care in the catheterization lab.

Because we are dedicated to making our patients healthier and to the continued success of our cardiac catheterization program, I’m very proud to announce that recently we were successful in achieving ACE reaccreditation.

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. Through the hard work of the cardiac catheterization lab staff, nurses, technicians, physicians, administrators and our dedicated cardiologists, we’ve put together an excellent program of which we are very proud.

A cardiac catheterization procedure is a general term where — through an artery in a patient’s wrist or in the leg — we can take care of the heart. The procedure involves advancing a thin, plastic tube (called a catheter) up 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 and the heart valves, and the heart function.

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 reaccreditation 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 actually 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.

Overall, 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, Penns Valley and now in Lock Haven. To learn more, visit us online at mountnittany .org/cardiology.

Al Zoda, MD, FACC, is medical director of the Mount Nittany Medical Center cardiac catheterization lab.

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