The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) announced today that ultrasound practice accreditation is now available in Fetal Echocardiography. The program sets the standard for care in fetal echocardiography and builds on the development of AIUM guidelines aimed at fostering its safe and effective use.
"I am proud that AIUM has designed a way for healthcare providers to show that they meet or exceed training and performance guidelines in this highly specialized exam," said AIUM President Harvey L Nisenbaum, MD.
The announcement of ultrasound practice accreditation in fetal echocardiography builds on the recent publication of the AIUM Practice Guideline for the Performance of Fetal Echocardiography and on modifications made to the AIUM Training Guidelines for Physicians Who Evaluate and Interpret Diagnostic Ultrasound Examinations. Under the updated training guidelines, completion of an American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology- or American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists-approved fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine and a written description of experience in performance of fetal echocardiography, may be accepted as proof of sufficient training in fetal echocardiography. Practitioners in other specialties, including pediatric cardiologists and radiologists, can demonstrate education and skills by submitting a narrative of their experience.
Ultrasound Practice Accreditation is a voluntary peer-review process that measures practices against nationally accepted protocols in training, practice, and safety. Practices that achieve accreditation show that they meet or exceed these standards. It is anticipated that practices accredited in dedicated fetal echocardiography be more likely to receive payment for the examinations.
Fetal echocardiography uses ultrasound to examine the structure of a fetus' heart. A fetal echocardiogram offers greater detail than a routine obstetric ultrasound. Women identified as being at high risk for delivering a baby with birth defects are often referred for a fetal echocardiography.