[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The aim of this study was to compare appropriateness designations as determined by the updated 2011 appropriate use criteria (AUC) for echocardiography with prior versions of the AUC for transthoracic echocardiographic (TTE) imaging, transesophageal echocardiographic (TEE) imaging, and stress echocardiographic (SE) imaging. An additional goal was to define relationships between appropriateness determinations and echocardiographic findings for each modality.
Previously published data sets of TTE, TEE, and SE studies were reclassified according to the 2011 AUC, and indication representation, appropriateness designations, and echocardiographic findings were compared with prior classifications according to the 2007 AUC for TTE and TEE imaging and the 2008 AUC for SE imaging.
Overall, 2,247 echocardiographic studies were analyzed. The 2011 AUC addressed the vast majority of studies (98%), a marked increase compared with prior versions of the AUC (89%) (P < .001). An increase in addressed studies was present in each echocardiographic modality (TTE imaging: n = 1,525, 98% vs 89%, P < .001; TEE imaging: n = 405, 99.7% vs 91%, P < .01; SE imaging: n = 289, 97% vs 88%, P < .01). Among all echocardiographic procedures, the 2011 AUC found a lower frequency of appropriate studies compared with prior AUC (82% vs 88%, P < .01), primarily because of new uncertain indications for TTE imaging. The frequency of inappropriate echocardiographic studies was unchanged (11%). Among all echocardiographic procedures, the 2011 AUC found appropriate studies to have more new abnormal echocardiographic findings compared with inappropriate studies (45% vs 13%, P < .001). Interestingly, 2011 AUC inappropriate TTE studies had fewer major new echocardiographic abnormalities than 2007 AUC inappropriate TTE studies (9% vs 17%, P = .04).
The updated 2011 AUC for echocardiography encompass the vast majority of echocardiographic procedures in a university hospital practice, filling virtually all of the gaps identified in prior versions of the AUC for TTE, TEE, and SE imaging. The 2011 AUC also reasonably stratify the likelihood of finding an echocardiographic abnormality, demonstrating improvement compared with the prior AUC.
Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 04/2011; 57(14). DOI:10.1016/S0735-1097(11)61244-8 · 4.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical application of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) represents a potentially feasible alternative to third-party pre-certification for imaging procedures and will soon be required as part of the accreditation process for imaging laboratories. Electronic tools that rapidly apply the AUC are needed in clinical practice. We developed and tested a web-based application of the AUC to track appropriateness of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE).
Indications for outpatient TTE studies performed in a university hospital echocardiography laboratory were assessed prospectively at the point of service using a prototype web-based AUC application (Echo AUC App). The Echo AUC App was developed on the basis of our own prior published data regarding indication frequency to minimize time and screens required for completion. Echo AUC App-determined indications were compared with blinded investigator-determined indications based on review of relevant medical records. Echo AUC App characteristics, including Echo AUC App entry time, were recorded.
Of the 258 studies enrolled, Echo AUC App-determined TTE indications were Appropriate (A) in 77% (n = 198), Inappropriate (I) in 9% (n = 23), and Not Classified (NC) by the AUC in 14% (n = 37). Agreement between Echo AUC App- and investigator-determined classifications was excellent (94%, kappa statistic 0.83). Mean Echo AUC App study entry time was 55 seconds (range 25-280 seconds).
The use of an electronic application allows rapid and accurate implementation of the AUC for TTE at the point of service. Such an application could be installed in echocardiography laboratories to track appropriateness in accordance with soon-to-be-implemented accreditation requirements. Further study of this Echo AUC App at the point of order may provide an alternative to third-party pre-certification procedures.
Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 03/2011; 24(3):271-6. DOI:10.1016/j.echo.2010.12.027 · 4.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical application of the American College of Cardiology Foundation and American Society of Echocardiography appropriateness criteria for stress echocardiography (SE) in a single-center university hospital.
Indications were determined for consecutive studies by two reviewers and categorized as appropriate, uncertain, or inappropriate.
Of 477 studies for which primary indications could be determined, 188 specifically related to university transplantation programs were excluded. Of the remaining 289 studies, 88% were addressed in the appropriateness criteria for SE. Of these, 71% were appropriate, 9% were uncertain, and 20% were inappropriate. Inappropriate studies were more likely to be ordered on younger patients and women and were less likely to be ordered by cardiologists. Abnormal results on SE were more frequent among appropriate than inappropriate studies.
The appropriateness criteria for SE encompass and effectively characterize the majority of studies ordered in a single-center university hospital and appear to reasonably stratify the likelihood of abnormal results on SE. However, revisions will be required to fully capture and stratify appropriate clinical practice of SE.
Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 11/2010; 23(11):1199-204. DOI:10.1016/j.echo.2010.07.008 · 4.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to compare the clinical application of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Society of Echocardiography Appropriateness Criteria (AC) for outpatient transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in academic and community practice settings.
Indications for TTE ordered in both academic and community practice settings were determined by 2 reviewers and categorized according to the AC for TTE as Appropriate, Inappropriate, or Not Addressed. Patient characteristics, ordering physician specialty, and TTE findings were also recorded.
Overall, 814 academic and 319 community TTEs were analyzed. Interobserver variability for indication determination was high and did not differ between studies ordered at the 2 practice settings. Compared with the academic practice, community practice TTE indications were more likely to be classified in the AC for TTE (88% vs 82%, P = .04), but were ordered for a similar frequency of Appropriate (71% vs 68%, P = not significant) and Inappropriate (17% vs 15%, P = not significant) indications. New important TTE abnormalities were more frequently found in Appropriate studies compared with Inappropriate studies in both academic (35% vs 16%, P < .001) and community practice (29% vs 15%, P = .04) settings.
The clinical application of the AC for TTE is feasible, and the frequency of Appropriate and Inappropriate outpatient TTEs is similar in academic and community practice settings. However, limitations of the AC for TTE are identified that suggest revisions will be needed to fully encompass and stratify the broad clinical practice of echocardiography.
Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 09/2009; 22(12):1375-81. DOI:10.1016/j.echo.2009.08.005 · 4.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the clinical application of the recently published American College of Cardiology Foundation and American Society of Echocardiography appropriateness criteria (AC) for transesophageal echocardiographic (TEE) imaging at a single-center university hospital.
As outlined in the AC, TEE studies were divided into those performed subsequent to transthoracic echocardiographic imaging (adjunctive TEE studies) and those that were the initial echocardiographic studies for the indications being evaluated (initial TEE studies). Each study was categorized as appropriate, uncertain, or inappropriate, according to the relevant section of the AC, and the study's impact on patient management was determined.
Of the 405 studies enrolled, 27% were adjunctive and 73% were initial. Ninety-one percent of TEE studies could be classified by the AC. Overall, 97% of the studies were appropriate, 1% were inappropriate, and 2% were uncertain. Patient management was affected by 94% of appropriate studies but by only 50% of uncertain or inappropriate studies.
The AC for TEE imaging can be feasibly applied and encompass the majority of the clinical practice of transesophageal echocardiography in an academic setting.
Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 05/2009; 22(5):517-22. DOI:10.1016/j.echo.2009.02.009 · 4.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to prospectively evaluate the clinical application of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Society of Echocardiography Appropriateness Criteria (AC) for transthoracic echocardiography in a single-center university hospital. Indications for transthoracic echocardiograms (TTE) were prospectively determined for consecutive studies by 2 reviewers and categorized, according to the AC for TTE, as appropriate (A) or inappropriate (I). The overall level of agreement in characterizing appropriateness between reviewers was high (kappa = 0.83). Among the 1,553 studies for which a primary indication was determined, 89% were covered in the AC for TTE. Of these studies, 89% were A, and 11% were I. New important TTE abnormalities were more common on A compared with I studies (40% vs. 17%, p < 0.001), and noncardiac specialists more frequently ordered I studies (13% vs. 9%, p = 0.04). In conclusion, the AC for TTE encompasses the majority of clinical indications for TTE and appears to reasonably stratify TTE ordering. However, revisions will be needed to fully capture and stratify appropriate clinical practice.