• Accreditation Is Perceived to Improve Echocardiography Laboratory Quality: Results of an Intersocietal Accreditation Commission Survey

      Lopez, Leo; Farrell, Mary Beth; Jerome, Scott D. (SAGE Publications Inc., 2017-05-01)
      The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) began accrediting echocardiography laboratories in 1996 to improve quality in diagnostic imaging facilities. With no existing data linking accreditation to improved outcomes, the aim of this study was to examine the perceived value of accreditation among individuals who have successfully achieved IAC echocardiography accreditation. An electronic survey was sent to accredited facilities soliciting demographic data along with questions regarding the perceived value of accreditation related to 15 quality indicators; 10.455 emails were sent with 999 responses (9.6%), and 63% of respondents reported improvement in results due to accreditation. Of the 15 quality indicators, the process was perceived as leading to improvement by a majority for 10 of the quality indicators. Nonphysicians tended to report more improvement compared with physicians (64% vs. 54%, P =.056). The perceptions from hospital-based respondents were more favorable than nonhospital-based respondents (67% vs. 59%, P <.001). More than 90% of respondents reported that maintaining accreditation was important for improved quality and better reimbursement. The study showed that IAC echocardiography facility accreditation is perceived by most facilities to improve operations for most quality indicators, particularly regarding study quality and reporting.