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Neuromuscular laboratory first in Georgia to receive special accreditation

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Janet Christenbury

Atlanta Neuromuscular Diagnostics, LLC, located at Emory University Hospital Midtown, is the first laboratory in the state of Georgia to receive exemplary laboratory accreditation from the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM).

The special designation signifies the lab has exceeded a level of standards in providing excellent patient care, combined with a high level of physician and staff qualifications, as well as the most up-to-date equipment for testing.

“It’s quite an honor to be recognized by the governing board of my area of expertise,” says Jacqueline M. Washington, MD, founder and CEO of Atlanta Neuromuscular Diagnostics and former neurology faculty member at Emory University School of Medicine. “While this accreditation process has only been in place for two years, we are now only one of about 80 labs across the country to receive this recognition out of over 5,000 members in the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine. The hope is that this accreditation process will help strengthen the standards of electrodiagnostic care for patients across the nation.”

Washington’s laboratory performs neuromuscular consults and electrodiagnostic studies in patients with pain and damage to the muscles and nerves. Common patients seen are those who develop muscle weakness for different reasons, back or neck pain from disease and arthritis, diabetes- and cancer-related pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome -- a primary area of interest and expertise for Washington. These patients often need consults and testing to determine the best method of treatment for them.

The AANEM established laboratory accreditation criteria for electrodiagnostic labs to ensure patients receive quality medical care in a safe environment. Laboratory accreditation provides patients, referral sources and payers with a credible measure to differentiate the lab’s quality of care.

"Dr. Washington is to be commended for this recognition of the quality of her laboratory,” says R. Edward Faught, MD, professor of neurology at Emory and chief of the neurology service at Emory University Hospital Midtown. “This exemplifies the high standard of patient care for which the medical staff of Emory University Hospital Midtown is known.”

Washington received her medical degree from the University of Michigan, completed her residency at Henry Ford Hospital, followed by a fellowship in Electromyography and Neuromuscular Disease at Duke University. She was an Emory faculty member in the Department of Neurology for 11 years before branching out into private practice.

“I am passionate about the study of neuromuscular disease and maintaining the highest standards of care for patients,” says Washington. “Many times, neuromuscular disease is misunderstood and people don’t receive the proper treatment for their condition. They may undergo surgeries and therapies that are not needed. My goal is to improve the knowledge of the disease to make others aware of their diagnoses and treatment options.”

The AANEM accreditation lasts for five years, at which time, laboratories must reapply.

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