What happens to the application once it is submitted to the IAC?
Upon an application's submission to the IAC office, it is imported into the database. Facilities have five days* to submit the corresponding hard copy components including the case studies, IAC Accreditation Agreement, attestations and fee (if paid by check). The accreditation review process generally takes approximately 12 to 16 weeks to complete and the decision returned to the facility.
*Expedited submissions per the terms and conditions (Page 5 of the IAC Policies and Procedures) must be received in the IAC office no later than the first business day of the submission month.
An in-house review to assess the completeness and appropriateness of the materials submitted is conducted by the IAC staff. This preliminary review does not include the technical components of the application. If obvious information has not been included in the application (e.g., inappropriate case study selection, missing protocols), the staff contacts the facility to request the needed information. It is advantageous to the facility to send this requested information promptly. The in-house review does not guarantee that the Board of Directors will not request additional information, but does assist in avoiding some unnecessary delays.
During the course of the in-house review, the application is assigned to two application reviewers who conduct a simultaneous, independent review. IAC application reviewers include physicians and credentialed technologists who are employed in accredited facilities and have been selected and trained to participate. Over the next four weeks, the application reviewers complete a detailed review of the clinical components, including the case studies, for adherence to the Standards.
Upon completion of each application's review, the comments and recommendations are returned to the IAC office. These findings are compiled and further reviewed by the IAC Echocardiography Director of Accreditation, in preparation for discussion and the final review by the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors.
Upon the review and rendering of the accreditation decision by the Board of Directors, the Director of Accreditation notifies each facility, in writing, of the Board's decision and, if applicable, any additional information required to grant accreditation. These notification letters are given priority and are sent via postal mail in the timeliest manner possible. Two copies of the correspondence are sent to the facility; an original to the Technical Director, and a copy to the Medical Director. Beginning May 15, 2012 applicant facilities can now also view these letters via the Online Accreditation Portal. As new correspondence is uploaded to your application, your facility’s Medical and Technical Directors are automatically notified via e-mail. This enhancement is an asset to facilities that are in the process of applying for accreditation as it enables instant access to these vital communications from the IAC.
When accreditation is granted, two copies of the official certificate, two promotional door clings, press release and corresponding media list form and instructions for downloading the Seal of Accreditation accompany the letter. These materials are sent UPS Ground to the attention of the Technical Director.
As illustrated above, there are a number of avenues through which an accreditation application must travel in order to complete the process. However, it should be reassuring to facilities that the process of reviewing applications and determining accreditation decisions, though somewhat lengthy, is thorough and intensive — a fitting complement to the time, effort and preparation put forth by those seeking accreditation.