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The Echocardiography Quality Framework: a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to quality assurance and continuous service improvement

Abstract

The Echocardiography Quality Framework (EQF) is a unique, comprehensive, holistic approach to improving all aspects of an echocardiography service. The EQF is a patientcentered program, combining Quality Assurance and Continuous Service Improvement. The framework encompasses measures of (i) the quality of echocardiography, (ii) reproducibility and consistency, (iii) education and training, and (iv) customer feedback. The EQF is scalable and adaptable to benefit any echocardiography service. A catalogue or library of supporting documents is being developed by the British Society of Echocardiography (BSE), to be made available to any participating department. A mechanism and online infrastructure for (optional) national registration or assessment is being developed, to be used as a standalone adjunct or linked to BSE Departmental Accreditation. The principles that underpin the EQF may be applied to other imaging disciplines and, ultimately, other medical or surgical specialties.

Reference

  1. Ingram TE, Baker S, Allen J, Ritzmann S, Bual N, Duffyz L, Ellis C, Bunting K, Black N, Peck M, et al. A patient-centred model to quality assure outputs from an echocardiography department: consensus guidance from the British Society of Echocardiography. Echo Research and Practice 5 25-33. (https://doi.org/10.1530/ERP-18-0053)

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Acknowledgments

I am grateful to the echocardiography department at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, with whom I discussed and tested the principles and design of the EQF. I am delighted that BSE Council, led by its recent Presidents Richard Steeds and Keith Pearce has supported adoption of the EQF nationally. I am indebted to Tom Ingram for his support in developing the detail and implementation plans and the BSE Clinical Standards Committee for their dedication and efforts to develop the supporting material.

Funding

This work did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.

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Correspondence to Navroz Masani MBBS FRCP.

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Masani, N. The Echocardiography Quality Framework: a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to quality assurance and continuous service improvement. Echo Res Pract 5, G35–G41 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1530/ERP-18-0052

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1530/ERP-18-0052

Key Words

  • echocardiography
  • echocardiographic quality
  • quality improvement
  • quality assurance