Transthoracic Echocardiography (TTE) is one of the most common diagnostic imaging tests used in Cardiology. It is portable, noninvasive and provides important data regarding diagnosis and management of many cardiac conditions. In recent years TTE has had an increased in popularity for its use in both inpatient and outpatient settings. This has resulted in an increase of inappropriate use leading to overutilization of resources. At our institution, University of New Mexico Hospitals we evaluated the prevalence rate of appropriateness of TTE with a quality improvement project. During the first phase of the project 100 TTEs each were randomly selected in both the outpatient and inpatient settings. We evaluated appropriateness based on the AUC of TTE published in 2011 by the American College of Cardiology. Results demonstrated inpatient TTE orders had reduced number of inappropriate echo orders compared to outpatient echo orders. The percentage of inappropriate TTE orders in the outpatient setting was unacceptably high approaching 30% of all outpatient TTE requests. Recent studies have shown that education of physicians concerning the appropriate use of echocardiography can improve resource utilization in clinical practice. The purpose of the second phase of this quality improvement project is to reduce the number of inappropriate TTE orders in the outpatient settings at our UNM clinics through multiple and continued mechanisms. This will be achieved through educational material, EMR modifications, follow up audit reports and feedback sessions.
Almaraz, Karla B.; Jeromy P. Yatskowitz; Andy Huang; and Alexander J. Vold. "Appropriate Use Criteria for Echocardiography." (2019). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hsc_ed_day/63