On April 17, 2020, St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s catheterization (cath) lab received accreditation from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC), becoming among the first in the country to obtain IAC accreditation in pediatrics.
On that same date, the St. Louis Children’s Hospital electrophysiology (EP) lab received its second accreditation from the IAC. It is one of the first two EP labs in the country to receive IAC accreditation.
Both the cath and EP labs are part of the St. Louis Children’s and Washington University Heart Center, the region’s largest pediatric heart center, nationally recognized as a top heart program.
“We have extensive experience in using catheter-based procedures for heart valve replacement, avoiding the need for open-heart surgery,” says Carrington Dehart, program manager of procedural services at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
The Heart Center is one of a select group of pediatric centers in the U.S. that use minimally invasive catheter-based procedures to treat congenital heart disease in children. Since 2010, the Center has implanted approximately 250 valves using a catheter-based approach. Due to its interventional volume and excellent results with even the most complicated conditions, the Center is the site for many FDA-mandated investigational trials involving the use of new technology.
In the EP lab, patients with heart rhythm abnormalities are treated through catheter ablation, a procedure to correct abnormal heart rhythm. The lab implants devices, such as pacemakers, intracardiac defibrillators (ICDs) and implantable loop recorders (ILRs).
“As one of the larger EP programs in the Midwest, we care for patients across many states with heart rhythm abnormalities. Our team is known for clinical excellence, innovation, advancement of our field and advocacy on a national and international scale. As such, we inherently are standard bearers for EP programs in the U.S. and will continue to lead by setting an excellent example,” says Jennifer Avari Silva, MD, pediatric electrophysiology director.
For both accreditations, the labs had to undergo a rigorous process that walks through their quality improvement plans, safety strategies, available equipment, and staff, policies and protocols that are all encompassing. The process takes roughly six months to complete.
To prepare for the accreditation process, each lab devotes about six to nine months completing and organizing paperwork necessary for accreditation and reaccreditation. Additionally, site visits are completed every few years to ensure compliance with protocols and standards.
“To set a gold standard to which all cath and EP labs are held accountable is an important step to standardizing care across the country,” says Dr. Silva.
For more information, visit the St. Louis Children’s and Washington University Heart Center.