Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The IAC is fully staffed with knowledgeable technical and support professionals who are ready to answer any questions you may have while completing the application for accreditation. Below is a listing of some of the most frequently asked questions:
- General Accreditation Questions
- Online Application Questions
- Case Study Questions
- Clinical Questions
- Staff / CE Requirement Questions
- Quality Improvement Questions
- Marketing Questions
Don't see the question you were looking for below? Contact the IAC staff for assistance.
General Accreditation Questions:
What is the first step to beginning the accreditation process?
When applying for first-time accreditation or reaccreditation, the first step toward success is a review of the Standards by every member of the staff. Visit the Standards section to review and download the current Standards. To assist you in preparing your application and to learn more about the complete accreditation process, review the accreditation checklist at intersocietal.org/mri/seeking/getting_started.htm.
Why does the IAC program for MRI accreditation no longer go by ICAMRL?
Resulting from the culmination of extensive research of the needs of facilities seeking accreditation, the IAC renamed its then six individual accrediting divisions in February 2012 and implemented multiple enhancements to streamline the process. IAC MRI was previously the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Magnetic Resonance Laboratories (ICAMRL). Read the official press release»
I work at a hospital not a facility; can I apply for IAC MRI accreditation?
All facilities that perform diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may apply for IAC MRI accreditation. The term “facility” is inclusive of all imaging centers, hospitals, physician offices, and other sites that perform MRI procedures.
What is the cost of IAC MRI accreditation?
Access to IAC Online Accreditation is free of charge. Applicant facilities are charged the accreditation fee, due at the time of application submission. For more information, visit the Accreditation Fee section»
How do I calculate the fee for a multiple site facility?
The fee for each additional multiple site is $1,325 per site for sites 2-3; $1,085 per site for sites 4-10 (20% discount); $875 per site for each site over 10. The fee may be paid by credit card online or check mailed at the time of application submission. To access the calculator, visit the Accreditation Fee section»
How do I add a multiple site or a testing area to our accreditation?
Accredited facilities wanting to add a multiple site must submit the completed Multiple Site Supplemental Application and the materials outlined in the Multiple Site Supplemental Application. Also, update the facility's Online Accreditation account (Manage Site and/or Manage equipment) with the additional site and/or equipment information. To learn more, visit intersocietal.org/mri/main/multiple_sites.htm.
If an accredited facility wishes to add an additional testing area to their current accreditation, the testing area forms must be completed and submitted with the required case study images and other documentation. As well, the facility will be required to pay the fee associated with adding a testing area. To learn more, please visit intersocietal.org/mri/accredits/adding_testing_area.htm.
What is the pre-submission case check procedure?
The pre-submission check is initiated by the facility after the application questionnaire is completed but prior to the final application submission. For complete details, please visit intersocietal.org/mri/seeking/casecheck.htm.
How long does the IAC accreditation review process take?
Upon a facility's final application submission to the IAC, facilities have five business days to submit the corresponding hard copy components including the case study images, operator Quality Control (QC) phantom images and application fee (if paid by check). The accreditation review process and the rendering of the decision takes approximately 8 to 10 weeks to complete. For details on complete review process, visit the Application Review section»
Our current accreditation is expiring soon. Can we receive our decision sooner than 8 to 10 weeks?
Yes, facilities have the option through the Online Accreditation application to select an expedited application review. Additional non-refundable fees will apply. The facility will be required to agree to the terms and conditions of the expedited process. Please refer to Page 5 of the IAC Policies and Procedures for additional informat
Are all accredited facilities required to undergo a random site visit or random audit?
Yes, in an effort to further substantiate continued compliance by accredited facilities and in response to the requirements sanctioned by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for CMS appointed Accreditation Organizations as part of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), the IAC has implemented a policy requiring all accredited facilities to undergo an audit or site visit at some time during their three-year accreditation period. Read more about Random Site Visits and Audits»
I received your letter stating that our accreditation was delayed. How can I determine exactly what was missing in our original application?
The items that did not demonstrate compliance with the IAC Standards during the peer review are outlined in the decision letter. Next, review the Application Review Findings (found on the decision correspondence icon in the Online Accreditation portal) for detailed comments about each aspect of your application. Note that although the reviewers try to specify each area of non-compliance, you must ultimately use the Standards as your source of information on IAC requirements. Then, review the items listed in the decision letter to determine why they did not meet the Standards.
Online Application Questions:
Is there a time limit to completion once I begin working on my Online Accreditation application?
No, accessing IAC Online Accreditation for the first time does not obligate the facility to complete the Online Accreditation application within any given period of time. Access to Online Accreditation and your account is good for the life of your facility. However, there may be updates to the application questionnaire from time to time.
How do I upload my documents into the Online Accreditation application?
Applicant facilities are required to upload and submit all attachments electronically. Facilities may scan the documents in and save them to a local computer or save them to another storage device for upload. Many file types may be uploaded from the computer or storage device to the appropriate attachment questions in the application questionnaire. For additional information, visit the Attachments section.
How may I review my uploaded documents?
After uploading a file to an attachment question in the questionnaire, a new link called “Previously Uploaded Document” will appear. Select this link to view the file you uploaded. Occasionally, security settings prevent users from opening documents easily. To view a document, you may be having difficulty with, hold down the control key on your keyboard and do not release the control button until the document opens; then select the link “Previously Uploaded Document."
How do I print the questionnaire questions from my online application?
A downloadable PDF of the application questions and answers is available on the Applicationstab. Proceed to the Applications tab, click on the Available Actions icon and when the Tools page displays, click the Download PDF Questionnaire button.
How do I obtain a printout of the active staff list from my online application?
A spreadsheet of all active staff may be downloaded either from the Applications page Online Tools Available Actions icon or from the Manage Staff tab of the Account Profile. Click on the wrench icon and when the tools page displays, select Staff Information from the drop-down and click the Download Application Information button. The click to download active staff list link is located on the Manage Staff tab of the Account Profile.
Case Study Questions:
What are the case study requirements?
Applicant facilities must submit six case studies for each MRI scanner for review of the interpretive and technical (clinical image) quality. For complete details visit the Case Study Requirements section at intersocietal.org/mri/seeking/case_studies.htm»
What policies and procedures will I be required to submit with the application?
There are several policies and procedures that must be submitted with the IAC MRI application. For the complete list, view the Accreditation Checklist.
Do you have sample documents for review?
Yes, the IAC MRI now offers several checklists and sample protocols, reports and more on the website. To view the sample documents, visit intersocietal.org/mri/seeking/sample_documents.htm.
Can you provide an example that can be used as guidance for the development of the facility specific policy and procedures?
Components of a policy and procedure should include the following:
- The policy should be specific to your facility
- The facility letterhead should be included on at least the first page of every policy
- The policy should have a title.
Example: Acute Medical Emergency Policy
- The purpose of the policy should be indicated first.
Example: It is the policy of Jacksonville Diagnostic Imaging Center to inform and educate all personnel the proper procedures to be taken in the event of a medical emergency
- The procedure is the step-by-step process that outlines how the goal stated in the policy will be achieved.
a. stop the scan
b. assess patient’s condition
c. call for help (include number)
d. remove patient from bore or from scanner
e. start CPR
- Effective date, revised date, and review date should be noted
- Approval signature(s) from member(s) of the QI Committee
This is a very simplistic version of a policy and procedure. The content should emphasize the specifics of your facility and include as much detail as possible. Sample documents for the majority of the requested policies can be found at: intersocietal.org/mri/seeking/sample_documents.htm.
Staff / CE Requirement Questions:
What are the requirements of the Medical Director?
There are several training and experience pathways for physicians that serve as the Medical Director. For a list of the complete requirements, please review STANDARD 1.1A - Medical Director in the IAC MRI Standards.
What are the requirements of the Technical Director?
There are several training and experience pathways for the Technical Director. For complete requirements, please review STANDARD 1.2A - Technical Director in the IAC MRI Standards.
What is the process to change the Medical or Technical Director?
The facility is required to update the online account information in the Manage Staff tab of the Online Accreditation portal. Once the changes have been made online, please inform IAC MRI staff. You may find complete instructions for changing the Medical or Technical Director in the Changes Within the Facility section»
What do we need to add a medical/technical staff if we are already an accredited facility?
To add or deactivate staff during your three-year accreditation cycle access the Online Accreditation portal go to Manage Staff section and select Add New Staff Member. You may find complete instructions for changing the staff in the Changes Within the Facility section»
What are CE requirements for the staff?
As outlined in the IAC Standards and Guidelines for MRI Accreditation, each staff member must have 15 hours of MRI related Continuing Medical Education (CME) or Continuing Education (CE) that has been obtained within three years of the submission of the application and is AMA Category I or RCEEM approved. CME/CE Certificates should be kept on file at your facility and made available to the IAC upon request. To view the complete requirements, visit the CE Resources section.
Quality Improvement Questions:
What are the IAC MRI overall Quality Improvement (QI) Program requirements?
The IAC MRI accreditation program is comprised of several separate, yet integrated aspects of QI in the facility. The focus and goal of these components collectively is to provide quality patient care. For complete QI requirements, refer to the
IAC Standards for MRI Accreditation, Part C: Quality Improvement.
Does the IAC offer any resources to assist our facility with meeting the new QI program requirements?
Yes, in May 2016 the IAC launched the Quality Improvement (QI) Self-Assessment Tool. Created to help your facility employ and document continuous process improvement, the IAC QI Self-Assessment Tool provides facilities with a mechanism for meeting the quality measures required by IAC. Now included as part of IAC’s Online Accreditation portal, the QI tool provides participating facilities a data-driven, objective measure of their QI progress for use in complying with the IAC Standards and Guidelines for Accreditation and fulfilling a variety of facility quality initiatives. To access the IAC QI Tool, login to your Online Accreditation account and click on the Quality Improvement tab from the top menu to launch the Quality Improvement (QI) Self-Assessment Tool. To learn more about the tool, please visit intersocietal.org/QITool.
In addition, the IAC also offers a sample QI policy, sample QI evaluation forms and sample QI meeting minutes to help in meeting the QI requirements as detailed in the Standards. The sample documents meet or exceed the requirements of the Standards, and they may be used to develop facility policies and reporting forms, whether your facility is seeking accreditation or simply working to standardize or improve current practices. Please note: These documents are samples, any policies or protocols submitted with the application must be customized to reflect current practices of the facility. To download these samples, please visit the sample documents section»
Are facilities required to purchase a specific Quality Control (QC) phantom in order to become accredited by the IAC MRI?
Facilities applying for IAC MRI accreditation do not need to purchase a specific phantom to perform operator QC testing. However, applicant facilities are required to have an ongoing operator Quality Control program utilizing a phantom provided or recommended by the manufacturer, service engineer or site physicist.
What Quality Control (QC) documentation is required as part of the application process?
The equipment QC documentation must consist of MRI system initial acceptance testing and acceptance testing following a major upgrade, an annual Preventative Maintenance record and operator QC testing documentation. Documentation must include:
- QC Acceptance Test Results (QC test results performed after installation or after major upgrade or room design) and the phantom images on a CD, DVD, or flash drive/memory stick
- Five days of operator QC tests with the test results/ log sheet and the corresponding QC phantom images on a CD, DVD, or flash drive/memory stick
- Annual Preventive Maintenance Report from the service engineer that contains a description of the assessments performed as well as the reference ranges for each assessment, a description of any repairs performed and is signed and dated by the service engineer.
For more information, please download the IAC MRI Standards and review Standard 1.2B - Equipment Quality Control.
Do you have a logo I can put on my website and/or reports to show that my facility is accredited by IAC?
Yes! Each of the IAC programs have a unique Seal of Accreditation for use by accredited facilities. The seal is available in color and black and white and is specific to the testing area your facility is accredited in (vascular testing, echocardiography, nuclear/PET, MRI, CT, dental CT, carotid stenting, vein center, cardiac electrophysiology and/or cardiovascular catheterization).
To download the Seal of Accreditation for your facility: please login to your Online Accreditation account (www.iaconlineaccreditation.org); select the Applications tab at the top; and scroll down and click on the yellow star icon located next to your granted application under Available Actions. Please note: The yellow star will only appear once your facility has been granted accreditation. Need help downloading or using the Seal of Accreditation? E-mail the IAC marketing team for assistance or login to your Online Accreditation account (www.iaconlineaccreditation.org) and click on the live chat to talk with us live! Just be sure to select Seal of Accreditation/Marketing under request type and we’d be happy to help you!
What are some other ways I can market my facility's accreditation?
Once a facility is granted accreditation, they often ask what they can do to promote this enormous achievement for their facility. There are a variety of resources offered by the IAC to assist your facility in promoting your accreditation achievement.
The marketing opportunities are endless, but each IAC accredited facility receives several marketing tools to help get them started including: an electronic Seal of Accreditation to use on reports, website, etc.; a sample press release to distribute announcing their accreditation achievement; two certificates and two accreditation decals to display in their facility; one complimentary embroidered patch and one complimentary lapel pin.
For more information about these materials and how to use them, visit the Marketing Tools section»