By Kate Penz, Communications & Foundation Manager
EDX Laboratory Accreditation
“The accreditation process promotes a high standard for the performance and reporting of studies,” said David E. Stickler, MD, director of the electromyography laboratory at the Medical University of South Carolina. Stickler’s laboratory became accredited with exemplary status through the AANEM’s Electrodiagnostic (EDX) Laboratory Accreditation Program
in January 2012, making it the first laboratory in South Carolina to receive accreditation. The laboratory performs approximately 1,500 studies annually.
In 2011, Stickler attended a presentation on AANEM accreditation and was struck by statistics presented there, including the rapid expansion of EDX studies performed in the U.S.
“I was equally surprised to see the number of studies performed by providers outside of the specialties of neurology and physical medicine and rehabilitation—even studies that were performed by nonphysician providers,” Stickler said. “I left this presentation realizing the importance of the effort to develop electrodiagnostic testing and reporting standards and the role that laboratory accreditation would serve in this effort.”
EDX Laboratory Accreditation Program Takes Off
The AANEM developed the EDX Laboratory Accreditation Program as a voluntary, peer review process that identifies and acknowledges EDX laboratories for “achieving and maintaining the highest level of quality, performance, and integrity based on professional standards,” said Shirlyn Adkins, executive director, AANEM. Launched in April 2011, the program has received a tremendous response, resulting in accreditation of 130 labs in 40 states (as of February 1, 2013).
In addition, accreditation has become an important marketing tool for EDX laboratories. “It demonstrates to patients and other medical providers that the laboratory is committed to providing the highest quality of patient care. Moving forward, accreditation may become more important as private practices, hospitals, and universities begin to realize the financial impact of the recent CPT coding changes.” said Adkins. The AANEM staff assists newly accredited laboratories with this marketing effort by providing them with resources such as logos and a news release.
“The accreditation program challenges laboratories to find better ways to serve their patients and consistently uphold the gold standard of quality patient care,” said Adkins.
‘Reflects Commitment to Patient Care’
Stickler runs a laboratory within a large institutional setting that values accreditation in other areas—including intracranial and extracranial vascular testing, electroencephalogram, and intra-operative monitoring. According to Stickler, leadership at the Medical University of South Carolina was excited for the opportunity to receive EDX accreditation. He said the accreditation process was “a great way to review many of our policies and procedures. It provides laboratories specializing in electrodiagnostic medicine with a way to assess, evaluate, and improve the quality of care provided to their patients.”
“It reflects our commitment to providing the highest level of patient care possible,” Stickler said. “We finished the process an improved EMG laboratory. I think anyone completing studies would have this goal for their testing facility.”
Learn About EDX Laboratory Accreditation
For information regarding the AANEM EDX Laboratory Accreditation Program or to find an accredited lab, visit www.aanem.org/accreditation
or contact the AANEM at 507.288.0100.