The Beaumont Children's Pediatric Subspecialty Clinic has added two new, state-of-the-art echocardiography machines, including 3-D echocardiogram technology. This will complement its digital lab and improve its ability to accommodate more families and their children for fast and convenient appointments.

The pediatric echocardiography test takes about 45 to 60 minutes; because of Beaumont's move to electronic  medical records, the results are available to the referring physician by the next day.

"No parent wants to wait for a heart evaluation if he finds out his child has a heart condition," says Nancy Cutler, M.D., director of the Pediatric Echocardiogram Laboratories at Beaumont, Royal Oak. "This expansion and equipment upgrade offers our patients the newest and most advanced technology."

Pediatric echocardiogram tests are painless and use sound waves to produce images of the heart that can identify even the most complex heart abnormalities.

Medication for sedation is not necessary since the test is performed in a kid-friendly atmosphere designed exclusively for children to keep them amused and calm.

There are three pediatric cardiologists and two echo technicians in the subspecialty clinic. The clinic has been open for more than 20 years. It recorded 2,559 patient visits and staff performed 3,393 echocardiograms in 2008.

Beaumont Children's is a member of the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals provided funding for the new equipment.