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ICAEL Reporting Requirements

What is ICAEL accreditation?

The Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) provides standards and accreditation for imaging facilities that demonstrate a commitment to quality care. The standards set forth a framework for the accreditation program and define the minimum requirements necessary for facilities to provide high-quality care.

The accreditation process assesses all aspects of the facility’s daily operations, including the staff, procedures, and reports, to recognize achievements and identify and correct potential gaps. A well-chosen PAC system can assist you with meeting the accreditation requirements for examination reports and records.

What are the ICAEL reporting requirements?

The ICAEL standards set forth record management and reporting requirements that echocardiography facilities must comply with to gain accreditation. The facility must have a records archiving system in place that stores all images, measurements, and final reports for five to seven years, depending on state and federal guidelines. These records must be easily retrievable for comparisons with new studies, and they must be archived in their original format. In addition, a secure backup system is required for all digital files.

It is essential that report findings are made available in a timely manner. STAT echocardiogram findings must be made available immediately, while inpatient studies must be generated within 24 hours and outpatient studies within 48 hours.

Echocardiogram reports must include high-quality images. Often, additional views, side-by-side comparisons, and image contrasts are necessary for analysis. In addition, the reports must be typewritten and signed by the interpreting physician. It is important that the information is secure and that any electronic signatures are password protected.

Reporting must be standardized within the facility, and physicians must agree on the diagnostic criteria and report format. There must be sufficient information to identify previous studies on the same patient, such as patient name or identifier, gender, height, weight, and blood pressure. The ICAEL standards list specific report content required for transthoracic, transesophageal, and stress echocardiograms.

How can AccessPoint help?

AccessPoint can help you gain ICAEL accreditation by providing you with an easy-to-use, integrated records management and reporting system. With AccessPoint, all records and images can be stored on-site, off-site, or on-line. You can add and configure multiple DICOM servers, and the Store and Forward feature can automatically send a copy of each file to a back-up server.

Standard reports contain clinical parameters that meet ICAEL requirements, including preset measurements for 2-D, M-Mode, and Doppler data. Intelligent Reporting provides auto-fill capabilities and screen reader technology reduces manual data entry, both features increase efficiency and reduce transcription costs and data entry errors. These features help physicians to analyze studies and generate reports quickly and accurately. Secure digital signature capabilities provide physicians with the flexibility to access and sign reports from any location.

Reports in AccessPoint can be customized to comply with changes in accreditation standards and billing requirements. This gives you control to ensure that the reports match your workflow and data analysis needs as well as ICAEL requirements. 

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