What Patients Should Know
Welcome to the Patient Information section of IAC Cardiac Electrophysiology online. The IAC provides the following information about cardiac electrophysiology as a service to the general public. This section is designed to help prospective patients stay educated and informed about cardiac electrophysiology and the importance of accredited facilities.
IAC Accreditation – The “Seal of Approval” Patients Can Count On
Private offices, clinics and departments within hospitals that are accredited by the IAC submit to a review of their daily operations. By participating in the accreditation process, these facilities demonstrate a commitment to the performance of quality cardiac electrophysiologyprocedures and strive to meet nationally recognized standards. During the accreditation process, applicant cardiac electrophysiologyfacilities must submit documentation on every aspect of their daily operations. While completing the application, facilities are required to identify and correct potential problems, revising protocols and validating quality improvement programs. Accreditation is granted only to those facilities that are found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with the IAC Standards. Once granted, IAC accreditation is valid for a period of three years, after which time the facility must undergo a repeat evaluation.
Locate An IAC-Accredited Cardiac Electrophysiology Facility
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»
How Else Can I Find Out If My Cardiac Electrophysiology Facility Is Accredited?
Look for the official IAC Seal of Accreditation! Your facility may have the Seal of Accreditation (pictured top right) on display as an indicator you are receiving the highest level of care. Patients can also try searching for the official certificate (pictured bottom right) as an indicator that the facility is granted accreditation by IAC.
The official IAC certificate contains the Seal of Accreditation, facility name and address, testing areas which the facility is accredited and the date the accreditation is granted through.
Information for Patients
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.
- 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)