Written by Judith Buckland, MBA, RDCS, FASE

The surprising truth about Echo Accreditation

When you think of CardioServ, the first thing that often comes to mind is our blogs! We strive to inspire excellence in imaging, and a big part of that is through education. What you may not realize is that for the past 13 years, we have been helping clients across the nation earn the recognition of echo accreditation, vascular and nuclear cardiology. This week we will share the surprising truth about echo accreditation that we discovered along the way.

What the heck happened in 2009?!!

Surprising truth about echo accreditation

CardioServ exists today because I experienced firsthand the positive impact of continuous quality improvement. During the accreditation process, working side by side with great folks like you, I witnessed the diagnostic quality of echocardiograms improve. IAC accreditation was associated with labs wanting to improve quality and standardize practices. Then in 2009, United Healthcare released news of echo accreditation as a condition for reimbursement. This shifted the motive of lab accreditation. Suddenly labs were rushing to achieve accreditation because they felt like they had to.

Echo Accreditation…Do I have to??!

To be honest, I think the United Healthcare news unintentionally set the tone of ‘obligatory’ accreditation. As a national echo accreditation consulting company, we started to see echo accreditation outcome goals change. Accreditation was no longer seen as the beginning of a continuous journey for quality improvement but rather the end of a process. The certificate on the wall was the new goal.

Goal of Echo Accreditation

The truth about echo accreditation is that the treasure lies in the very process of seeking accreditation. It’s the looking and the reviewing that provides the opportunity for growth, not the certificate on the wall. So when clients are upset that This one doesn’t read their reports completely or That one rushes their echo and doesn’t follow the protocol, I smile inside. Because what looks like a headache and annoyance to them is the beginning of growth. How great that a spotlight is placed on issues that were previously brushed aside!

Our gift to you

So here’s the good news…we are here to help you. We are committed to staying focused on the bigger picture of quality improvement in addition to helping you earn the recognition of accreditation. We are changing the way facilities achieve accreditation. So add accreditation to your New Year Resolutions and let us help!

To jump-start your new year we are offering a free virtual consultation. At the end of your consultation, you will receive a $500 gift certificate to use towards any accreditation service:

  • First-time accreditation
  • Reaccreditation
  • Audits
  • Delayed Status
  • Echo, Nuclear Cardiology, Vascular Ultrasound

Don’t worry, you don’t need to have an accreditation plan or a start date in mind. You don’t even need to be seeking accreditation at all! This is just to chat and discuss some of the hurdles you face within your imaging lab. I will share my echo accreditation knowledge with you and we can brainstorm together. So don’t be shy, I don’t bite!

Judith Buckland, MBA, RDCS, FASE

echo accreditationechocardiographyquality improvement

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I agree and stand by my work as an Echo Tech I have completed school and am a perfectionist. I also in the last 20 or so years have a attempted the Physics exam several times. My position and my love for my profession keeps me working. However I cannot pass the Physics portion of the exam to be “certified”! I feel incomplete in my field but also I am very well deserving of the Title of RDCS. I fight this test constantly and do not understand why we have to pass this extra exam? If our machines which are programmed to complete the physics portion of the study do not work then we cannot scan. There is no time and has never been a time when I had to take any physics equations and solve it in the field Is there a Grandfather RDCS to achieve?
Liberty Cowden
There isn't a machine out there which is "programmed to complete the physics portion of the study". If there was, there would be little need for us. When a sonographer does things like: adjusting the depth (which impacts the frame rate), altering the scale (which changes the PRF), takes the correct measurements which are needed for the calculation like QP/QS, aligns the proper Doppler angle, etc. etc. each of these examples are the practical application of physics....I know of no machine which does all that. Sonographer education in physics is critical to the diagnostic value and quality of the exam, whether they realize it is physics they are practicing or not.
Liz Morello
Been in the echo world for 43 years.

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