Performance Improvement 2001. Evidence Report and Synthesis on "The Effects of Credentialing on the Quality of Ultrasound Imaging Services


This study was undertaken to study the differences in quality between ultrasound services furnished by individuals who are credentialed versus those who are not. The study examined and evaluated difference in error rates, resulting complications, and patient outcomes to determine any quality differences that can be correlated with the differences in credentialing status. The researchers assessed a public meeting discussion on existing evidence of the effects of sonographer credentialing, conducted a preliminary literature review and examined the data collected and maintained by the two dominant sonographer credentialing organizations to conduct an analysis of credentialing effects on quality. The public meeting discussions and the literature review indicated very little evidence exists directly relating sonographer credentialing outcomes in a quantifiable meaningful fashion. Further, although the credentialing organizations maintain detailed information specific to sonographers, the amount of additional data required to control for other confounding factors that would ultimately affect the outcome of a particular course of treatment would require a fairly extensive research project, possibly including primary data collection. Based on the findings, the report recommends no further studies of this issue by AHRQ.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

FEDERAL CONTACT: Harry Handelsman, 301-594-4025

PIC ID: 7477

PERFORMER: Barents Group, KPMG Peat Marwick LLP, Washington, DC