Abstract 239: Appropriateness and Impact of Transthoracic Echocardiography in a Veterans Affairs Health Care System.
Background: Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) for transthoracic echocardiograms (TTEs) was developed in 2007 and later revised in 2011 to meet the need for guidance on appropriate use of diagnostic imaging. Few studies have evaluated the correlation between AUC and downstream clinical impact. We describe the association of AUC and clinical impact for TTEs from a VA center.
Methods: All TTEs from April 2011 at a VA center were retrospectively reviewed. TTEs were excluded for LVAD/ transplant patients or for inadequate clinical data to assign AUC or clinical impact. Based on 2011 AUC , TTEs were classified as: appropriate, inappropriate, or uncertain. After blinding to AUC, TTEs were assessed for clinical impact as: change in care, continuation of current care, or no change in care.
Results: Among 441 TTEs (43% inpatient), 82.7% were appropriate, 9% inappropriate and 8% uncertain. Overall, change of care was seen in 39% of TTEs, continuation of current care in 32% and no change in care in 30%. Appropriate TTEs more frequently resulted in a change in care than inappropriate TTEs (41% vs. 23%, p<0.03, Figure 1).
Conclusions: Although only 8 in 10 TTEs were appropriate by 2011 AUC, almost 4 in 10 TTEs lead to an active change in care. Appropriate TTEs were more likely to change patient care than inappropriate TTEs. Additional research is needed to evaluate the association of clinical impact and differences in TTE practice at VA vs. non VA medical centers.
Author Disclosures: K.N. Abdullah: None. J. Hastings: None. S. Abdullah: None. S. Matulevicius: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.