The vascular laboratory at Blanchard Valley Hospital, a division of Blanchard Valley Health System, has been granted a three-year term of accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) in vascular testing in the areas of peripheral arterial testing, extracranial cerebrovascular testing and peripheral venous testing.
This latest accreditation demonstrates the lab’s ongoing commitment to providing quality patient care in vascular testing.
The vascular laboratory performs physiologic testing and uses ultrasound technology to generate images of blood flow in an individual’s veins and arteries. These tests assist cardiovascular physicians at BVHS in diagnosing a variety of conditions related to vascular disease and disorders of the heart and blood vessels.
“I think of us as private investigators,” said Michelle Beucler, technical director of the vascular laboratory.
The vascular laboratory team can detect vital “clues” which assist physicians treating patients at BVHS. For example, Beucler’s team routinely tests for blood clots in the veins of the legs.
“Physicians are making immediate treatment plans for that patient, based on our findings,” Beucler said.
Peripheral arterial testing involves checking the circulation of the arteries in the arms and legs, while peripheral venous testing involves checking the veins, looking for conditions like blood clots or deep vein thrombosis, as well as mapping the veins. And extracranial cerebrovascular testing involves making sure there is good blood flow to the brain. This test is often used for patients with stroke-like symptoms.
“Another example of how our work makes a difference is that, if a physician is taking a patient into the operating room for bypass surgery, they’ll need a section of vein to create the bypass,” Beucler said. “Our team maps the vein they plan to use, to ensure it’s of good size and quality.”
The training and experience of the technologist performing the procedure, the type of equipment used and the quality assessment metrics each facility is required to measure all contribute to a positive patient outcome. The skilled associates and top-notch equipment at BVHS make it easier to diagnose potentially life-threatening and limb-threatening vascular disorders.
IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that indicates consistent quality care and a commitment to continuous improvement. The accreditation process includes a detailed self-evaluation followed by a thorough review by a panel of medical experts. The process enables both the critical operational and technical components of the applicant facility to be assessed, including representative case studies and their corresponding final reports.
Beucler submitted case reports representing each member of the team, and each of the three testing areas: venous, arterial and carotid. The IAC then reviewed each case thoroughly. Among the positive attributes they noted were the good image quality and thoroughness of the reports.
“I am proud of my team and the quality of our work,” Beucler said. “We’re pleased to receive this re-accreditation.”
Beucler has worked in the lab for 30 years and is the daughter of one of the people involved in establishing the department. Now, she mentors sonography students completing clinical rotations at BVHS, helping ensure this expertise continues throughout future generations.
Vascular studies offered at BVHS include evaluations for deep vein thrombosis, peripheral arterial disease, carotid disease, arteries related to aneurysms, bypass grafts prior to surgery and much more.
Appointments for vascular studies at Blanchard Valley Hospital are available Monday through Saturday. For more information about vascular studies at the Jane & Gary Heminger HeartCare Center, call 419.423.5132.