by Lynn Shapiro
, Writer | March 02, 2009
As previously reported in DOTmed News, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) have been working together to improve the quality of diagnostic ultrasound and ultrasound-guided invasive procedures of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Under the AIUM's guidance, the AACE has developed the Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound. To earn this credential, an endocrinologist must receive training, pass a certification examination, and submit case studies and reports. The AIUM recognizes the AACE's endocrine certification in neck ultrasound as proof of sufficient physician training in thyroid/parathyroid ultrasound.
In addition to physician training, quality of care is also determined by the qualifications of sonographers and other non-physicians who may perform the exams, the maintenance and calibration of the ultrasound machines, the content, accuracy, and timeliness of reports, and more.
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AIUM Ultrasound Practice Accreditation demonstrates that a practice meets nationally recognized standards in all these areas. Thanks to the AACE's input, the AIUM will now offer ultrasound practice accreditation in thyroid/parathyroid ultrasound.
AIUM President Joshua Copel, MD, states, "The voluntary collaboration between the AACE and AIUM demonstrates the valuable results that occur when medical societies combine their respective expertise to ensure patient quality. This collaboration serves as a model for us to work with other medical societies involved with medical ultrasound."
What is more, a growing number of insurers have made practice accreditation a privileging requirement in order for physicians to be reimbursed for diagnostic imaging. AACE certification and AIUM practice accreditation demonstrate to patients and insurers that a practice and its physicians meet rigorous standards.
AACE President Daniel Duick, MD, commented that "Neck ultrasonography and ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration have become integral in the daily practice of endocrinology over the past 15 to 20 years. Having professional certification (AACE) and laboratory accreditation (AIUM) now available ensures patients and payers that the highest quality of service is being rendered."