Date: 12/3/2012

Community Hospital earns Breast MRI Accreditation

Women looking for exceptional imaging care close to home will find it at the Women’s Diagnostic Center of Community Hospital. As the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR), Community Diagnostic Center has earned a three-year term of accreditation in breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Breast MRI offers valuable information about many conditions and supplements other imaging methods such as mammography or ultrasound.

“By receiving the ACR Gold Standard of Accreditation, our facility’s personnel qualifications, equipment requirements, and quality control procedures have met specific standards,” said Don Fesko, CEO of Community Hospital. “For our patients needing a breast MRI, it means receiving the highest level of patient safety and imaging quality.”

Earlier this year, Community Hospital was designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the ACR. The Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE) designation is awarded to breast imaging centers that achieve excellence by seeking and earning accreditation in all of the ACR’s voluntary breast-imaging accreditation programs and modules. This is the first time the Center has applied for and successfully passed the ACR Breast MRI accreditation process. The Breast MRI is the most recently established of the ACR accreditation programs, having only launched in May 2010. Community Hospital is the first hospital in Lake County, Indiana to earn this distinction.

The ACR gold seal of accreditation is awarded to those facilities that meet ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists - experts in the field.

The review process involves a three-step approach. Facilities undergo a rigorous evaluation to determine if they meet nationally accepted standards of care. Personnel are screened to assure they are well-qualified to perform imaging procedures and interpret medical images. Additionally, equipment is assessed by medical imaging experts who verify that it functions properly, takes optimal images and utilizes appropriate radiation dose levels.

After a breast cancer diagnosis has been determined, breast MRI is used to provide highly detailed images of the breast anatomy, show blood flow through the breast and diagnose unknown abnormalities. It is the most sensitive method for detection of subtle abnormalities and is the best screening tool for patients with a high risk of breast cancer.

“We continuously work to provide patients a better experience - an extraordinary experience. We want the women who visit us to have the highest quality care available and at the same time, feel the importance and love that we feel for them,” said Mary Nicholson, M.D., fellowship-trained, dedicated breast radiologist at Community Hospital and regional director of breast imaging services for Community Healthcare System. “Each patient matters greatly, and we try to show that through the care we provide.”

The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive healthcare services.

For more information about breast cancer care at Community Hospital, click here.