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Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2014 Jul;15(7):747-52. doi: 10.1093/ehjci/jet280. Epub 2014 Jan 9.

Development of a National Echocardiography Quality Improvement Programme: insights into feasibility, uptake, and clinical utility.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiology, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Du Cane Road, London W12 OHS, UK British Society of Echocardiography, London, UK sanjeev144@hotmail.com.
2
British Society of Echocardiography, London, UK Sussex Cardiac Centre, Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals Trust, Brighton, UK.
3
British Society of Echocardiography, London, UK Department of Echocardiography, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust, London, UK.
4
British Society of Echocardiography, London, UK Department of Echocardiography, York Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, York, UK.
5
Sussex Cardiac Centre, Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals Trust, Brighton, UK.
6
Department of Cardiology, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Du Cane Road, London W12 OHS, UK British Society of Echocardiography, London, UK.
7
British Society of Echocardiography, London, UK Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of UK, Cardiff, UK.
8
Department of Cardiology, East Sussex NHS Trust, Eastbourne, UK.

Abstract

AIMS:

There are minimal data on methods to measure and improve quality in image interpretation when reporting cardiovascular imaging studies. We sought to identify the feasibility and clinical utility of a nationally implemented quality assurance (QA) process.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

A web-based platform was developed to administer a national QA module to 27 echocardiography departments within the UK. Three QA modules were delivered from 2011. The proportion of units using the QA module increased from 14 (52.2%) in the first module to 22 (81.5%) in the third module. There was no significant change in the proportion of correct answers between the first module (88.9%) and the third module (82.8%), P = 0.3. The number of echocardiographers with at least one incorrect answer increased from 16 (21.6%) in the first module to 54 (34%) in the third module, P = 0.03. Overall, in valvular heart disease cases there were 36 (10.6%) incorrect responses where qualitative assessment of the severity of valve dysfunction was tested compared with 4 (3.6%) incorrect responses where quantitative assessment of valve dysfunction was tested, P = 0.04. In chamber quantification cases, there were 36 (6.8%) incorrect responses where qualitative assessment of chamber function was tested compared with 3 (2.1%) incorrect responses where quantitative assessment of chamber function was tested, P = 0.04.

CONCLUSION:

The incorporation of national QA programme is feasible with rapid uptake. The platform allows comparison of an individual's interpretation skills against a reference standard which can be used as a method to identify inter-observer variability and as a training tool.

KEYWORDS:

cardiovascular imaging; echocardiography; quality

PMID:
24408932
DOI:
10.1093/ehjci/jet280
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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