15 Tips to Accreditation Success

Every day, the AIUM receives applications for AIUM accreditation. Some of these are pristine and go quickly through the process. Others require follow up which can delay the process—sometimes significantly. If your practice has decided that 2015 is the year it will seek accreditation, we have come up with 15 ways to help you improve your application.

For all practices: aium_accred

  1. Contact information—You’d be amazed at how many applications fail to include contact information on reports. Make sure you also include accurate email addresses, street addresses and phone numbers on the application. Doing so helps the overall process run more smoothly.
  2. Support all information—If you are reporting information that can be supported by an image or a short video clip, make sure it is included in your case submission. AIUM receives numerous applications where things like measurements, pathology and anatomy are reported but no supporting images are included.
  3. Sign and date your reports—Even if the report is dated, the physician needs to not only sign the report but also date his or her signature. This shows the timeliness of the report as well as your internal review process.
  4. Report your CME credits—Accreditation requires that all physicians have a certain number of CME credits. Before you submit your application, double check that all the included physicians have the necessary CME credits.

For OB practices:

  1. Image the adnexa—This is one of the required images so make sure you include and label it!
  2. M-mode not Doppler— In order to be compliant with ALARA, use M-mode first. If M-mode is unsuccessful then Doppler can be used keeping in mind the AIUM Statement on Measurement of Fetal Heart Rate.
  3. Report number of fetuses—There are multiple ways to report the number of fetuses and can be documented anywhere on the report. Some examples include: Fetal 1/1, singleton, Number of fetus = 1.
  4. Be careful of the thermal index—Monitor the thermal index. Keep this displayed at all times, if possible. Review the AIUM Statement on Heat.
  5. Include ALL third trimester anatomy—This is true even if you perform mostly growth sonograms in the third trimester. For accreditation purposes, make sure your third trimester submission is a complete anatomy study.

For GYN practices:

  1. Get correct volume measurements—When reporting uterine volume the measurement of the uterine corpus must be submitted. If your practice does not report uterine volume then measuring the length of the uterus must be from the fundus to the external os.
  2. Report uterine orientation with sonographic terminology—Anteverted, retroverted, anteflexed or retroflexed must be used to report uterine orientation. “Normal” is not appropriate sonographic terminology.
  3. Report the use of transvaginal probe/transducer—If you used a transvaginal probe/transducer, make sure you report it.

A few more:

  1. Limit images with anisotropy (MSK practices)—Aligning the transducer perpendicular to the structure will eliminate anisotropy.
  2. Images not labeled (MSK, dedicated Thyroid, Fetal Echo practices)—A good mantra to follow is, “If it’s an image, label it.” If you follow that, you will avoid one of the most common mistakes that slow down the review of an accreditation application.
  3. Include images of all cardiac biometry (Fetal Echo practices)—This is required for accreditation and yet practices fail to submit these images. Don’t forget.

Following these tips will help ensure your application is complete and goes through the accreditation process as smoothly as possible. At any time, however, feel free to call the AIUM at 800-638-5352 or email accreditation@aium.org if you have any questions. Good luck!

Is your practice accredited or considering the accreditation process? What questions do you have? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

Therese Cooper, BS, RDMS, is AIUM’s Director of Accreditation.