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September 23, 2018

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Reaccredited - again!

Bluffton Hospital cardiopulmonary department earned echocardiography reaccreditation

Area residents know that Bluffton Hospital has a big heart as it cares for its patients.

A national accreditation commission reaffirmed that fact recently.

Earlier this year the hospital received “seal of approval” for the third time affirming its echocardiography laboratory provides a high level of patient care and quality testing when diagnosing heart disease.

The hospital’s cardiopulmonary department earned echocardiography reaccreditation from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.

It’s not the first reaccreditation for Bluffton. First accredited 2008, reaccreditation followed in 2011 and 2014, on three-year cycles.

Karen Burkholder, supervisor of cardiopulmonary at Bluffton, said that the hospital handles about 20 adult echocardiograms each month. In her position since 1998, she has been able to get to know some patients, their children and even their grandchildren.

“We have a great staff. The environment in Bluffton Hospital is very personable,” she added.

“The number of echocardiograms will double now that Bluffton has added equipment for pediatric patients,” she said. “The state of the art equipment and technical services in Bluffton is identical to Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay.”

She added that both hospital echo labs perform echocardiograms. These are non-invasive tests used to assess different areas of the heart and can detect heart disease or signs of serious conditions.

Burkholder said that echo procedures focus on heart functions, size, structure, congenital heart disease and other heart-related systems.

Bluffton’s cardiopulmonary department has 12 staff members with seven respiratory therapists and five allied registered cardiac stenographers. The Bluffton echocardiograms are read by the BVHS cardiology team.

To receive the accreditation, BVH and Bluffton echo labs underwent a comprehensive application process and a detailed review of its echocardiography operations.

Front row L to R: Kristi Eikenbery, Nicole Pickett, Tara Pritchett and Chris Keller. 
Back row L to R: Karen Burkholder, Denise Green, Lauren Trumpler and Vicki McAdams.