September 23, 2013
SIU Med School OB/GYN Department Earns Accreditation for Fetal Echocardiography
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has been granted a one-year accreditation in fetal echocardiography by The Ultrasound Practice Council of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.
“SIU is the first academic center in Illinois to be accredited and is only one of two programs in the state to be certified,” said Dr. Robert Abrams, director of the OB/GYN ultrasound program at SIU.
The fetal echocardiogram identifies heart defects in fetuses. By identifying cardiac abnormalities in utero, physicians can provide specialized care immediately at the baby’s birth. “Family members can also better understand the expected treatments and possible surgical interventions their baby will need,” Abrams said.
Accreditation ensures that a pregnant woman can undergo a complete anatomic and cardiac evaluation of the developing fetus in the same office. If a major cardiac abnormality is noted, a pediatric cardiologist can provide further consultation.
To receive this accreditation, the SIU practice met rigorous voluntary guidelines set by the diagnostic ultrasound profession. All facets of the practice were assessed, including the training and qualifications of physicians and sonographers, ultrasound equipment maintenance, documentation, storage and record-keeping practices, policies and procedures to protect patients and staff, quality assurance methods and the thoroughness, technical quality and interpretation of the sonograms the practice performs.
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine is a multidisciplinary medical association of more than 9200 physicians, sonographers, and scientists dedicated to advancing the safe and effective use of ultrasound in medicine through professional and public education, research, development of guidelines and accreditation.
SIU School of Medicine’s mission is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health needs through education, service, research and community service. The School has more than 220 full-time physicians as well as other medical professionals, offering both primary care and specialized treatment services. The medical school works in partnership with hospitals and clinics throughout Illinois. Clinical outreach efforts extend SIU’s involvement to 50 Illinois communities. For information, call SIU’s Call Center, 217-545-8000 or 1-800-342-5748 or visit www.siumed.edu.