Patient Guide To Understanding Radiology Accreditations

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Our goal at Save On Medical is to empower patients, making sure that when it comes to their health care provider decisions, they can be confident and make educated choices. We focus on awareness and education of what qualifies as quality care, which is why we would like to stress the importance of understanding radiology accreditations and why they matter!

Navigating accreditations and differentiating between acronyms such as ACR, ICAMRL and IAC and what they mean, starts with understanding the importance of a practice being accredited. Ensuring that the practice you are visiting for your medical procedure is accredited means that the practice meets the requirements of a higher entity, stating that they meet the high standards of a review board.

The most popular accreditation source for radiology or diagnostic imaging centers is The American College of Radiology (ACR).  The ACR awards accreditations to practices for a number of modalities including; Breast MRI, Breast Ultrasound, Computed Tomography, Mammography, MRI, Nuclear Medicine & PET, Radiation Oncology, Stereotactic Breast Biopsy and Ultrasound.  Since it was founded in 1987, the ACR has approved accreditations for over 20,000 facilities at over 10,000 practices.  These practices go through an evaluation time of about 3 months and once they have been approved as an ACR accredited facility, the center can assure their patients and referring physicians that they are inline with the guidelines of quality care and radiology expertise.

ACR Accreditation Example

Being approved by The ACR demonstrates a commitment to quality care. Patients can search for their physicians’ practices by location or modality on the ACR’s website with their accredited facility search or they can download a list of all the ACR-accredited facilities.

Other acronyms to be aware of when checking out accreditations are as follows:

JRCERT: Joint Review Committee of Education in Radiology Technology

This institution approves the accreditations of educational institutes, meaning where your radiologists, technologists etc. receive the education necessary to take care of your health care needs.

IAC: Intersocietal Accreditation Commission

The IAC provides programs for accreditation for practices performing Vascular Testing, Echocardiography, Nuclear & PET, MRI, CT/Dental and Carotid Stenting.  The accreditation acronyms for those guidelines are as follows:

ICAVL: Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (Vascular Testing)

ICAEL: Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiology Laboratories (Echocardiography)

ICANL: Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Laboratories (Nuclear/PET)

ICAMRL: Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Magnetic Resonance Laboratories (MRI)

ICACTL: Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Computed Tomography Laboratories (CT/Dental)

ICACSF: Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Carotid Stenting Facilities (Carotid Stenting)

ABMS: American Board of Medical Specialties

It is important for patients to determine if the doctor they are considering for care is Board Certified in their specialty.  Their certification matters and the easiest way to find out for sure is to check online.

ARRT: American Registry of Radiologic Technologists

This program promotes the highest standards for patient care by accrediting qualified technologists for medical imaging, interventional procedures and radiation therapy.  To learn more about how radiology techs are listed as qualified by the ARRT check their website.

CRCPD: Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors

Their website lists them as a partnership that is dedicated to radiation protection, where the Medical Physicist Registry has listed the qualifications of board certified medical physicists.  These qualifications are provided by The American Board of Radiology, American Board of Medical Physics, American Board of Health Physics, American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine and The Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine.

ABR: American Board of Radiology

The mission of the ABR is to certify that all radiologists have acquired, demonstrated and maintained the necessary standards of knowledge, skill, understanding and aptitude to practice diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology and medical physics in a safe and competent manner.