Why Have Your Ultrasound Done at an AIUM Accredited Practice?
Ultrasound scans are being performed everywhere. Not only in the standard radiology department in your local hospital, but also in the emergency room, urgent care clinics, your doctor’s office, and in some places, even at the local mall. But are you getting the same value for your money at each of these different sites? We have witnessed a very wide variety of skill levels within each of these departments. What can help you identify a reputable ultrasound facility? Look for an ultrasound practice that is accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the only accrediting organization that focuses solely on ultrasound imaging. Applying for and obtaining your AIUM ultrasound accreditation is a vigorous process. It requires that all physician and sonographer staff have earned the appropriate credentials for the scans being performed and that they are up to date on their CME (continued medical education). Studies must be submitted for review to the accrediting team to ensure that the appropriate anatomy is being captured, image quality is optimal, and images are labeled. The ultrasound report is reviewed to confirm that the patient information and required imaging components for the study have been assessed and documented correctly. AIUM accreditation can help reassure the patient and the referring physician that their selected ultrasound department is aware of and following the current accepted standard guidelines for their exam. This can lead to reduced patient anxiety regarding the quality of the ultrasound scan. The goal is to help ultrasound departments achieve the best imaging possible to improve overall patient care and safety. Why is AIUM accreditation important? Ultrasound technology has improved tremendously but its value is greatly dependent on who is doing the exam. The accreditation process helps a practice discover where its deficiencies are and can provide guidance on how to meet the minimum standards. Further training and education of the Sonographers and Sonologists will lead to improved patient safety and outcomes. Why pursue an ultrasound at an AIUM accredited practice? Maybe the better question would be, why not make AIUM accreditation mandatory?
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