Whether you are seeking accreditation from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) or from the American College of Radiology (ACR) both organizations require ultrasound equipment to be fully inspected prior to submission of documents and an ongoing preventive plan is in place to ensure quality control in the future.
The AIUM guidelines stipulate the following requirements for equipment:
- The ultrasound equipment must meet all state and federal guidelines.
- Studies must be conducted with real-time equipment, and transducers must be available with a frequency range that will optimize beam penetration and resolution.
Practices must meet or exceed the quality assurance guidelines specified in Routine Quality Assurance for Diagnostic Ultrasound Equipment.
- Instrumentation used for diagnostic testing must be maintained in good operating condition and undergo routine calibration at least once a year.
- All ultrasound equipment must be serviced at least annually, according to the manufacturers' specifications or, more frequently if problems arise.
- There must be routine inspection and testing for electrical safety of all existing equipment
According to the ACR requirements (page 11 of the below linked PDF) ultrasound maintenance is a bit more detailed requiring the following procedures:
Routine quality control testing must occur regularly; a minimum requirement is semiannually. The same tests must be performed during each testing period so that changes can be monitored over time and effective corrective action can be taken. Testing results, corrective action, and the effects of corrective action must be documented and the documentation maintained on site. In the event of a site survey, reviewers will expect to see such documentation.
The QC program must evaluate at least the following items in gray-scale imaging mode:
- System sensitivity and/or penetration capability
- Image uniformity
- Assurance of electrical and mechanical safety and cleanliness
- Photography and other hard-copy recording
Often physicians or hospitals purchase ultrasound equipment with a warranty, but once it expires there is rarely a service plan in place to protect the initial investment. Consumers have options available from either the OEM or ISO (Independent Service Organization) to inspect, repair and maintain their ultrasound equipment. United Medical Instruments, Inc. offers cost-effective service plans to meet your needs and your budget. Whether you need a full protection service contract, time and materials, or assistance with your organization's accreditation process, we are here to partner with you and protect your ultrasound investment. Contact us today!