What Patients Should Know
Welcome to the Patient Information section of IAC Cardiac Electrophysiology online. The IAC provides the following information about cardiac EP facilities as a service to the general public. This section is designed to help prospective patients stay educated and informed about cardiac EP procedures and the importance of accredited facilities.
IAC Accredited Facilities
The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) offers an online tool to assist patients in locating an IAC accredited facility. When scheduling a procedure, patients are encouraged to research the accreditation status of the facility. Find An IAC Accredited Facility»
Why are cardiac electrophysiology procedures performed?
Millions of people experience irregular heartbeats from time to time and live healthy lives free of heart disease; however, some individuals experience abnormal heart beats or arrhythmias, which may require them to undergo a cardiac electrophysiology procedure. Cardiac electrophysiology procedures may be appropriately performed for many indications related to the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders.
There are three basic causes of rhythm disorders that can lead to the need for treatment: electrical, circulatory and structural. A change in the heart’s electrical pathway may cause an irregular or erratic heartbeat. In the case of coronary artery disease, a lack of oxygenated blood circulating to the muscle of the heart may lead to muscle damage, poor heart function and a rhythm disorder. And finally, any change(s) to the normal structure of the heart, as would occur in individuals with cardiomyopathies or congenital heart disease, could result in a rhythm disorder.
To be eligible to apply for IAC Cardiac Electrophysiology accreditation, facilities must have the capability to provide the following procedure types:
- Testing includes non-invasive and invasive diagnostic procedures that evaluate at patient’s heart rhythm and are performed under the direction of cardiac electrophysiologists (physicians trained and credentialed in the field of cardiac electrophysiology).
- Ablation is an invasive procedure to treat an abnormal heart rhythm. A specialized catheter is inserted into a patient’s vein and is used to treat a damaged or injured area within the heart’s electrical pathway.
- Device Implantation is an invasive procedures performed to regulate heart rate and rhythm. Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Devices (ICD) are comprised of two basic components: a battery and wires (leads). The battery is inserted under the skin and the leads are connected to the heart. The battery is then programed to send electrical pulses to the tips of the leads, which stimulate the heart and regulate the heart rate and rhythm.
IAC Accreditation –“Seal of Approval” Patients Can Count On
The program offers a method for cardiac electrophysiology facilities to voluntarily document a commitment to quality patient care related to the performance and management of heart rhythm disorders. During the accreditation process, applicant cardiac electrophysiology facilities must submit documentation on every aspect of their daily operations. Applications submitted are reviewed by a panel of experts and accreditation is granted only to those facilities that are found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with the IAC Cardiac Electrophysiology Standards.
The program is widely respected within the medical community, as illustrated by the support of the national medical societies related to heart rhythm disorders who each serve as sponsoring organizations: Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals; Heart Rhythm Society; Pediatric & Congenital Electrophysiology Society.
- American Heart Association Journal; Circulation circ.ahajournals.org/content/102/18/2309.full)
- American Heart Association Patient Information Conditions www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/ AboutArrhythmia/About-Arrhythmia_UCM_002010_Article.jsp)
- Heart Rhythm Society Patient Resources (www.hrsonline.org/Patient-Resources/Heart-Diseases-Disorders#axzz3c0N0v5ha)
- Journal of the American College of Cardiology (content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=1659563)
- National Institutes of Health (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21707667)