Abstract 177: Credentials of Staff Performing Echocardiography in the United States: Insights from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission
Background: Little has been published on the practice of echocardiography (echo) in the United States. We used the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission-Echocardiography (IAC-Echo) applications database to describe the personnel in echo laboratories seeking accreditation.
Methods: We used de-identified data provided on IAC-Echo applications to characterize facilities by hospital association, census region, annual volume, number of sites, previous accreditation, and numbers of physicians and sonographers as well as National Board of Echocardiography (NBE) testamur status of physicians and registered credential status of sonographers. We categorized Medical Directors by board certification in cardiovascular diseases, internal medicine, other specialty, or none. Medical Director echo training could be formal Level 2 or 3 or experiential by ≥3 years of practice. Frequencies, means, and medians were compared between groups using the chi-square test, t-test, or Mann Whitney test, respectively.
Results: From 2011 to 2013, 1926 echo labs representing 10618 physicians and 6870 sonographers applied for IAC-Echo accreditation or re-accreditation. The majority of medical directors were board certified in cardiovascular diseases and 34.1% of medical directors and 27.2% of staff physicians held NBE testamur status; 79.5% of sonographers held registered credentials. Most echo labs were in the Northeast or South census regions, have an average of 1.75 sites, and are based outside of hospitals (Table). Compared to nonhospital echo labs, medical directors of hospital-based echo labs were more likely to be Level 3 trained (19.8% versus 30.8%, p<0.01) and be NBE testamurs (28.9% versus 45.6%, p<0.01). Markers of echo lab size, region, previous accreditation, and credentialed sonographers were associated with accreditation versus delay decisions; there was a trend toward accreditation among facilities with NBE medical directors.
Conclusion: Among facilities seeking IAC-Echo accreditation, the minority of echo physicians hold NBE testamur status. Hospital and nonhospital facilities are different in the credentials of their personnel.
Author Disclosures: M.W. Parker: B. Research Grant; Modest; Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. D. Sobieraj: None. M. Farrell: A. Employment; Significant; Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. C.I. Coleman: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.