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Nemours Earns Accreditation for Echocardiography Lab

Thursday, Sep 29, 2011


Jeanne Baffa, MD

The Echocardiography Department within the Nemours Cardiac Center at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, under the direction of pediatric cardiologist Jeanne Baffa, MD, has received three-year accreditation for pediatric transthoracic echocardiography by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL). Accreditation by the ICAEL signifies this country’s highest level of achievement in the specialty.

Every year, 35,000 babies (nearly 1 in 100) are born in the United States with some type of congenital heart defect, making it the most common birth defect in newborns. It is also the most critical, as congenital heart defects cause more deaths during the first year of life than any other birth defect.

Among the advanced diagnostic tools available, the noninvasive ultrasound study called an echocardiogram is commonly used to evaluate heart structure and function. The skill of the sonographer performing the exam, the type of equipment used, the knowledge of the interpreting physician, and quality assurance measures are each critical to excellence in patient testing.

The Echocardiography Lab at Nemours voluntarily underwent a thorough review of its operational and technical components by a panel of experts who considered quality of care and compliance with national standards through a detailed case review. ICAEL accreditation can be interpreted as a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on to know that the facility has been carefully critiqued and judged to be among those that meet the very highest standards.

Dr. Baffa said, “This accreditation is a testament to the superb talent and hard work of our sonographers and of the cardiologists who interpret echocardiograms. The high quality of the studies we perform allowed us to achieve this certification upon first application, without revision.” In particular, Dr. Baffa cited Nemours  sonographer Patty Stevens Brown and Echocardiography Lab Manager Jane Vetter for their contributions.

Learn more about ICAEL accreditation »

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens,, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.