Heart Center Receives National Accreditation

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On April 17, 2023, St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s cardiac catheterization (Cath) lab received its second accreditation from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).

On that same date, the St. Louis Children’s Hospital electrophysiology (EP) lab received its third accreditation from the IAC.

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 repair, avoiding the need for open-heart surgery.

The cardiac catheterization lab is one of a select group of pediatric centers in the U.S. that offer the very latest interventional procedures, such as preemie PDA closures and self-expanding transcatheter heart valves.  In addition, the lab is involved in many multi-center device trials, continually expanding our innovative procedures.

“The interventional cardiology team is extremely happy to receive IAC accreditation. This is recognition of the excellent outcomes we have and of our ability to provide unique innovative therapies to benefit patients with congenital heart disease throughout their lifetimes”, says David Balzer, MD, a Washington University physician, and pediatric cardiac catheterization lab director at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

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 Insertable cardiac monitors (ICMs).

“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, a Washington University physician, and pediatric electrophysiology director at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

For both accreditations, the labs underwent a rigorous process that walks through 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.

IAC Cardiovascular Catheterization Accreditation Logo
IAC Cardiac Electrophysiology Accreditation Logo