Development and Implementation of a Quality Improvement Process for Echocardiographic Laboratory Accreditation

Echocardiography. 2016 Mar;33(3):459-71. doi: 10.1111/echo.13129. Epub 2016 Jan 12.


We describe our process for quality improvement (QI) for a 3-year accreditation cycle in echocardiography by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) for a large group practice. Echocardiographic laboratory accreditation by the IAC was introduced in 1996, which is not required but could impact reimbursement. To ensure high-quality patient care and community recognition as a facility committed to providing high-quality echocardiographic services, we applied for IAC accreditation in 2010. Currently, there is little published data regarding the IAC process to meet echocardiography standards. We describe our approach for developing a multicampus QI process for echocardiographic laboratory accreditation during the 3-year cycle of accreditation by the IAC. We developed a quarterly review assessing (1) the variability of the interpretations, (2) the quality of the examinations, (3) a correlation of echocardiographic studies with other imaging modalities, (4) the timely completion of reports, (5) procedure volume, (6) maintenance of Continuing Medical Education credits by faculty, and (7) meeting Appropriate Use Criteria. We developed and implemented a multicampus process for QI during the 3-year accreditation cycle by the IAC for Echocardiography. We documented both the process and the achievement of those metrics by the Echocardiography Laboratories at the Ochsner Medical Institutions. We found the QI process using IAC standards to be a continuous educational experience for our Echocardiography Laboratory physicians and staff. We offer our process as an example and guide for other echocardiography laboratories who wish to apply for such accreditation or reaccreditation.

Keywords: Intersocietal Accreditation Commission echocardiography; echocardiography laboratory; quality improvement review process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation / standards*
  • Echocardiography / standards*
  • Laboratories, Hospital / standards*
  • Louisiana
  • Process Assessment, Health Care / standards*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / standards*
  • Quality Improvement / standards*