With its recent national accreditation, MCMC’s Echocardiography Lab
gets an official Seal of Approval.
When Larry Toll began feeling tightness in his chest around the first of
this year, he chalked it up to the typically chilly The Dalles winter
weather. When he was still feeling it a few weeks later, but this time
in balmy Hawaii, he knew something was up besides the barometer.
Once he returned from his vacation, Toll made an appointment with his primary
care provider. Jonathan Soffer, an adult nurse practitioner with MCMC
Internal Medicine Associates, suspected a cardiac problem and ordered
an echocardiogram to get a close-up look at how Toll’s heart was
VIDEO PROFILE: Jonathan Soffer, Nurse Practitioner
On the day of Toll’s appointment at MCMC | OHSU Cardiology at Water’s
Edge, his “echo” study began at 1:45. It didn’t last long.
“I didn’t even finish the exam before they had determined I
was a high-risk heart patient,” he says. “By 2:30 I already
had an appointment at OHSU and a patient number.”
That study may have saved Toll’s life.
“Larry had a stress test with echocardiography, and before he was
even finished our sonographer stopped the test and had me read the results
immediately,” says Kevin Wei, MD, an MCMC | OHSU cardiologist who
specializes in echocardiography. “He was really fortunate we were
able to determine pretty quickly he was a very high-risk heart patient
and get him scheduled for a procedure at OHSU. If his condition had gone
undetected and he later had a heart attack, he probably wouldn’t
Toll’s experience demonstrates just how beneficial it is for area
residents to have local access to these advanced studies. The echocardiogram
is one of the most important technologies available physicians for diagnosing
and managing patients with suspected or known heart conditions.
An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound
waves that are sent through a device called a transducer. The device picks
up echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off the different parts of
the heart. These echoes are turned into moving pictures of your heart
that can be seen on a video screen.
Echocardiography has been offered at MCMC for several years, but the lab
was upgraded and enhanced with the opening of the cardiology clinic at
Water’s Edge. The lab recently earned a three-year national certification
from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, demonstrating its commitment
to providing testing that meets or exceeds national quality standards.
Accreditation is considered the commission’s “seal of approval”
for the quality of the echo lab’s personnel and testing procedures.
According to the IAC it is also something “that patients can rely
on as an indication that the facility has been carefully critiqued on
all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in
the field of echocardiography.
“It’s a testament to the policies and procedures we have in
place, the expertise of our staff and their commitment to ensure each
of our patients has a high-quality exam and experience,” says Dr. Wei.
VIDEO PROFILE: Dr Kevin Wei, Cardiologist
That’s certainly what Larry Toll got. He had his echo exam April
9 and was scheduled for a cardiac catheterization procedure to clear blocked
arteries at on April 10. After he arrived at OHSU, physicians determined
his condition was too severe to make him a candidate for that procedure.
Instead, Toll had bypass surgery. The next day.
“I’m still not really believing it all happened in a matter
of less than three days,” says Toll, a retired state employee who
was always active and, until then, in good health. “But everything
went just fine. Dr. Wei told me I would be able to do everything I used
to before my surgery, so I’ve played some golf and am pretty well
back to normal.”
Toll says MCMC’s connection with OHSU not only ensured he has had
high-quality care throughout his experience, but also has enjoyed the
convenience of being able to get all his follow up care without having
to go back to Portland.
“It worked out really well that I have been able to have all my post-op
care in town,” he says.
It worked out pretty well that he was able to have his pre-op care here too.