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  • Physician certification and laboratory accreditation are crucial components of quality management in nuclear cardiology.

  • Physician certification is a process by which a physician receives professional recognition for having achieved the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience in a specific field.

  • The Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology (CBNC) is an entity that was established with the main purpose to develop the nuclear cardiology certification for appropriately trained physicians (cardiologists, radiologists, and nuclear medicine physicians)

  • Laboratory accreditation is an analytical process that provides stringent national standards to ensure a high level of quality, hopefully with a direct impact on patient care.

  • There exists a mandate for advanced imaging laboratories to be accredited by one ofthe four recognized accrediting bodies for appropriate reimbursement.

  • The accreditation process is a quality-driven practice for assessment of equipment, staff, policies, procedures, image quality, and reporting.

Quality and its impact on clinical care are essential in all areas of medicine. This often-nebulous concept must be at the forefront for nuclear cardiology, due to the potential for these examinations/images to lose diagnostic and prognostic value when performed in a substandard fashion. The aim of this chapter is to highlight the importance of two key aspects of quality in nuclear cardiology, specifically physician certification and laboratory accreditation. These are both dynamic processes regulated by organizations/agencies that operate independent of medical societies in order to preserve objectivity and ensure a high standard of performance. While both accreditation and certification are laborious and require substantial time, money, and effort to accomplish, these quality processes serve to ensure referring physicians, patients, and regulators that the laboratory and interpreting/supervising physician are providing optimal care with regard to nuclear cardiology procedures.


First introduced in the early-20th century with the establishment of medical specialty boards, physician certification is a process by which a physician receives professional recognition for possessing the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience in a specific field. This recognition was developed to distinguish individuals with specialized training and experience and to set standards of excellence that are objective and readily identifiable by other practitioners, as well as administrators, regulators, and payers.1 Physician certification, which is often referred to as “board certification,” was initially established as a voluntary process and was seen as achieving a higher level of knowledge and expertise within a specific discipline.

Physician certification plays a key role in providing a standardization of nuclear cardiology, across physicians from different specialties to facilitate the delivery of highest quality health care possible. Cardiologists, radiologists, and nuclear medicine physicians all play roles of cardiovascular imagers and clinicians to deliver best quality patient care. However, trainees may not always learn all of the requisite skills within a residency or fellowship to be an expert in nuclear cardiology. For example, radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians may have limited training in the clinical aspects of cardiovascular disease. In contrast, cardiology fellows ...

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