Exploring the value of vein center accreditation to the venous specialist
Whereas advancements in medicine offer potential alternatives for better treatment outcomes, these additional therapeutic options can make health care decision-making more difficult for patients, referring physicians, payers, and policy makers. In a complex and ever-changing medical world, quantifying quality care is a challenge, while the need to promote higher quality care is even more important. Many of the key developments in the field have come into common use without the opportunity for formal training for physicians already in practice, regardless of specialty background. These techniques are often learned through postgraduate educational experiences. As a result, it is likely that there is a wide range of knowledge, skill, and experience among physicians offering vein services. Given that many of these services are provided in the office, there is no hospital or institutional supervision or accreditation. In an effort to improve quality of venous care, the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) established accreditation standards for superficial vein centers. This review discusses the process used to create the IAC Vein Center guidelines; summarizes important requirements for accreditation and their impact on quality of care; and examines the potential impact of IAC accreditation on patients, providers, and payers.