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Media Release

St. Michael’s echocardiology lab awarded international seal of approval

Toronto, August 29, 2011

The Echocardiography and Vascular Laboratory at St. Michael’s Hospital has been recognized for its commitment to quality patient care and testing for heart and vascular disease.

The department has been accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL).

ICAEL accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indication that medical experts in the field of echocardiography have conducted a comprehensive review all aspects of the lab’s daily operations and technical components.

Hospitals voluntarily apply for ICAEL accreditation. The ICAEL awards accreditation only to those facilities that are found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with North American standards.

Heart disease or stroke kills one Canadian every seven minutes, making them two of the three leading causes of death in this country. Heart disease and stroke cost the Canadian economy more than $22.2 billion a year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity.

Echocardiograms are a useful and commonly used tool in the detection and management of many types of heart diease. An echocardiogram uses sound waves (ultrasound) to create a picture of the heart – the shape, texture and movement of the valves as well as the size of the heart chambers and how well they are working.

“St. Michael's Echocardiography Lab is one of the few heart ultrasound diagnostic labs in Canada that are accredited by an international body,” said Dr. Chi-Ming Chow, director of the hospital’s Echocardiography and Vascular Lab. “We aim to provide the best in class heart and vascular ultrasound diagnostic for both our inpatients and outpatients."

ICAEL accreditation is valid for three years, after which time the facility must undergo a repeat evaluation.

About St. Michael’s

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Center, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Media Contact

For more information contact:

Leslie Shepherd
Manager of Media Strategy
St. Michael's Hospital
416-864-6094 or cell 647-300-1753
Shepherdl@smh.ca