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RAD magazine: Ultrasound QA – a case study

Multi-Medix was featured in RAD Magazine in July, reviewing the recent ultrasound QA webinars and providing a case study on how we have helped hospitals set up their ultrasound QA programmes.

To read a copy of the article, click here.

We are really proud of the reception our webinars received. Co-hosted with Dr Nick Dudley and Gillian Harrison, the webinars were well attended with a worldwide audience, interested in implementing ultrasound user QA. Webinar recordings are available to all on the Multi-Medix website via the Online Knowledge Portal.

The webinars are intended to simplify the implementation of ultrasound user QA with the intention of enabling ultrasound departments to implement user QA programmes themselves.

For those departments who are under resourced or simply do have the time to start a user QA programme, Multi-Medix can offer a helping hand. QA Protect enables ultrasound departments to get started and grow the teams’ confidence, empowering them to do regular QA activities.

Ultrasound departments have already benefited from the using the resources on the online portal.

The RAD magazine article featured, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and the QA Programme Multi-Medix helped them implement:

“Through our QA checks, we have picked up things that may not have been spotted until the annual service. It has been really useful to have the ongoing support that Multi-Medix provides. We can simply send a photo of an image or probe or ask a question to the technical staff at any time. This provides us with greater confidence in our ultrasound systems.

“The enhancements Multi-Medix suggested to our QA system, have been easy to administer and have become part of day to day routines. In fact, because it is standardised it has allowed us to extend it to other departments, so we are all doing the same thing, saving time,” Olga Allan, lead sonographer in obstetric ultrasound, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust

These words are echoed in many ultrasound departments and clinics around the country already using the patented programme. Sonographers can quickly and easily perform their mandatory QA checks: safety and quality are assured, patient scanning time is maximised. Finally, through learning and implementing QA, staff can gain CPD credit.

QA Everyday is unique: it provides a QA service ‘in a box’ that covers everything needed to start a QA programme, support sonographers with their day to day QA and provide an independent audit. Ultrasound users become confident in their own ability and therefore confident in their systems safety compliance.

Multi-Medix is offering a free consultation to anyone wishing to improve their ultrasound QA programme, please email for more information. Free recordings of the QA webinars are available on the Multi-Medix Online Knowledge Portal.

Latest News

Bitesize Webinar Series: Ultrasound User Quality Assurance

Multi-Medix is proud to announce that it will be holding “bitesize” QA webinars in May.

Each webinar will only be 20 mins long with 10 minutes for questions at the end, available live and via recordings.

If you are thinking of starting an ultrasound QA programme or want a refresher on QA activities, these informal and short sessions are ideal.

The series of webinars will include the following topics & will all be at 7.30pm GMT.

All webinars will be hosted by Dr Nick Dudley and Darren Woolley, who will be joined for session 4 by Gillian Harrison, Professional Officer Ultrasound SCoR.

No 1      Tuesday 4th May            Components of a QA system

No 2      Tuesday 11th May          User QA & Audit

No 3      Tuesday 18th May          Baselining

No 4      Tuesday 25th May        “Putting it all together”. Open Q&A and discussion re CPD.

After each webinar, the recording will be held here for you access whenever you wish.  If you can’t wait until May, don’t forget we have 8 short videos to accompany our ” Diagnostic Ultrasound QA Manual – simply log onto the Online Knowledge portal to see them.

Register here

Latest News

Multi-Medix Ultrasound Probe Test Tool – the Biomed’s “Dog Tag”

The evolution of field based probe testing – Using your Multi-Medix Probe Test Tool

“A paper clip was designed to hold paper together – the Multi-Medix Probe Test Tool is designed to test ultrasound probes in the field, helping engineers identify gross defects”.

Shaped liked a US Army “dog tag”, the Multi-Medix ultrasound probe test tool allows field engineers to test probes effectively. The test tool is being distributed, free of charge, to everyone registering for the Multi-Medix USA ultrasound probe testing webinarsRead on to find out how to the tool enables engineers to achieve consistent probe test results AND find 100% of gross faults in the field.

From paperclip to “dog tag”

Biomeds & clinical engineers may be familiar with the “paper clip” test. In 1989, Goldstein demonstrated in a research paper that this household object can test a linear array on an ultrasound probe. However, it does have it’s shortcomings:

Paper Clip vs “Dog Tag”

USING A PAPER CLIP TO TEST A PROBE USING THE MULTI-MEDIX TEST TOOL TO TEST A PROBE
Inconsistency: Comes in different shapes & sizes, and can be coated in plastic therefore can produce differing results Consistency: One shape & size so that results are consistent.
Inaccessible: Cannot always be found Accessible: Can be attached to a keyring or lanyard
Not fit for purpose: paperclips can be “fiddly” and awkward to use when testing probes Designed by biomeds: the test tool is  ergonomically shaped and has been trailed in the field so that it is fit for purpose
Interpretation – see below Instruction – see below

 

The probe test tool was created by Darren Woolley, Operations Director at Multi-Medix & Dr Nick Dudley, Research Director at Multi-Medix. Their peer reviewed research paper is available to see here: A simple uniformity test for ultrasound phased arrays – Physica Medica 32-2016

Interpretation vs Instruction

Though research showed that a paperclip could test a probe, it did not explain how to do this. Without one consistent process, field engineers may create varying methods of probe testing with differing results. The Multi-Medix test tool forms part of a suggested best practise for field testing probe, demonstrated in our webinar.

Multi-Medix has an ongoing programme of research and development into ultrasound physics and probe safety. At the heart of our company is the strong commitment to share this knowledge through our free webinars.

 

FREE training webinar:

Using your Multi-Medix Test Tool, hosted by its inventor, Darren Woolley. 

A short, 20 min instructional webinar that will demonstrate how to use your “dog tag” effectively, enabling you to find 100% of gross defects in the field.

Log on to watch live or “on demand” via our Online Knowledge Portal

April 15th, 2021   2.30pm EST

Register here

 

Multi-Medix are specialists in ultrasound. We have a scientific background and have worked as biomeds ourselves in hospitals and clinics around the world. We understand what a biomed needs and can help you get your ultrasound system working again.

Try our hassle free probe repair and see our lab to find out why even the OEMs use us.

Latest News

Starting an Ultrasound User QA Programme?

As we are often asked about starting an Ultrasound User QA programme, here’s some advice on why a QA programme should be implemented and delivered. Read on to find out what has been the outcome at an NHS Trust we have recently visited.

Why train staff on Ultrasound QA?

On average, studies show a third of systems/probes have defects. These can be picked up easily from daily and monthly user QA checks. Though ultrasound systems may be under maintenance contracts, these may not include ultrasound QA checks, and are usually annual. The primary objective of the user QA training is to empower staff to be able to perform ultrasound user QA, enabling greater patient safety.

Demystifying Ultrasound QA for sonographers

Many sonographers tell us they are wary of the “physics” when it comes to ultrasound QA. Multi-Medix aims to demystify ultrasound user QA for sonographers. (And this does not necessitate revision of physics modules from your student days in order to get started!)

Implementing ultrasound user QA – it’s all about creating new habits

You can start a QA Programme today: The Multi-Medix Diagnostic Ultrasound QA Manual and Knowledge portal are freely available and include step by step video guides providing a practical starting point to starting an Ultrasound User QA programme. Click here for more information.

Each hospital in the UK was sent a physical copy of the manual also. Please contact qa@multi-medix.com for more information and further copies.

However, sometimes asking for help can “kickstart” new behaviours more effectively. For user QA to be effective, ideally it should become routine. When starting a new exercise habit, we often choose to join a regular class or hire a personal trainer. They check on how we doing, helping to enforce the new habit. In the same way, some hospitals and clinics choose to ask Multi-Medix to help implement their good QA habits therefore delivering positive outcomes more quickly.

Each hospital is different – there is no “one size fits all”. Recently we visited South Warwickshire NHS Trust. There was a lot of careful discussion with staff before a mutually agreed programme and timetable was decided. This included how the training was to take place, over what time period (so patient appointments were not impacted) and how success could be measured. Existing maintenance contract and medical physics department support were also taken into consideration so there was no duplication of effort and only existing gaps in necessary QA work were filled.

*****

South Warwickshire NHS Trust training “in a nutshell”

4 staff were trained over 2 months

15 systems were QA baselined

Favourite staff comment was “You did not blind us with physics talk!”

6 visits were made (to work around patient appointments)

Follow up visits arranged.

****

Positive outcomes

Ultrasound user QA training is an investment in staff and systems, that pays back over time.

Empowerment: Staff leave the course confident that they are able to perform regular checks and they, in turn, can train others.

Compliance: A functional QA programme that aligns with the mandatory requirement of OEMs, guiding institutes and societies.

Financial payback: Quality assurance processes help to prolong the life of the system – early defects are spotted that are more likely to be fixed at a lower cost than replacing equipment later.

Peace of mind: Staff have greater confidence and peace of mind that the ultrasound systems they are using on patients are giving accurate readings.

About Multi-Medix

The Multi-Medix team are built on the foundations of ex-NHS Clinical Scientists and Clinical Technologists, we are passionate about quality, customer service and patient safety.

Multi-Medix are specialists in ultrasound, offering a range of independent multi-brand services at affordable prices.

Multi-Medix are ISO 13485:2016 certified by BSI under certificate number MD 677953.

We are the independent choice for specialist diagnostic imaging ultrasound services, offering essential services and savings to Hospitals, Healthcare Professionals, Business’s and Veterinarians.

Would you like to see what we get up to in our lab? Take a look here.

Multi-Medix offers an extensive range of services for Ultrasound Equipment you can find out more here. 

You can also find us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook

 

Latest News

Diagnostic Ultrasound QA Manual & QA Knowledge Portal

Diagnostic Ulltrasound QA Manual from Multi-Medix

Diagnostic Ultrasound QA Manual from Multi-Medix

The Multi-Medix Diagnostic Ultrasound QA Manual was distributed to all hospitals in the UK before Christmas 2020. Each Imaging Department received a copy with our Christmas “snow probe” postcard.

We are really proud to have reached this milestone. Though the book took 6 months of hard work to create, it’s the culmination of decades of research and practical experience.

This knowledge is also shared with the videos that accompany the book, providing practical “how-to” guides that have never been available before.

Multi- Medix Knowledge Portal

It was important to us that the book did not become a static document that simply gets put on a shelf. Therefore we have also created the Ultrasound QA Knowledge Portal https://multi-medix.com/us/quality-assurance/. Here you can find the book, the videos and continued updates to the information held. We already have plans for additional material for the book which we look forward to sharing in the second edition.

Ultrasound QA is a mandatory activity. Yet so often the prospect of starting a QA programme can seem daunting. The book aims to demystify ultrasound QA through clear, practical guidance. It’s encouraging to see how high the initial interest was in the book and portal, only days after their launch. We have received registrations from sonographers, medical physicists, biomedical scientists, vets and physiotherapists worldwide.

If you have any questions about the book, the portal or about how to start a QA programme, please email qa@multi-medix.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

About Multi-Medix

The Multi-Medix team are built on the foundations of ex-NHS Clinical Scientists and Clinical Technologists, we are passionate about quality, customer service and patient safety.

Multi-Medix are specialists in ultrasound, offering a range of independent multi-brand services at affordable prices.

Multi-Medix are ISO 13485:2016 certified by BSI under certificate number MD 677953.

We are the independent choice for specialist diagnostic imaging ultrasound services, offering essential services and savings to Hospitals, Healthcare Professionals, Business’s and Veterinarians.

You can also find us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook

Latest News

ISO 13485:2016 Ultrasound specialists you can trust

13485 Ultrasound specialists Multi-Medix Certificate

ISO 13485:2016 Certified Ultrasound specialists. Multi-Medix are proud to say that it has been formally audited by the BSI and maintained its ISO 13485:2016 certified status – for the third year.

Darren Woolley, Managing Director, thanked all those involved. “Our staff have worked very hard to sustain quality high standards all year. We don’t just aim to meet these standards because an inspection is due. We have created processes and habits for every day”.

What does this quality standard mean to our customers?

Firstly, peace of mind. Our probes are tested and repaired to the highest standards and can be “tracked and traced” to provide provenance for our medical devices.

Secondly, exemplary service. The inspection required us to survey customers:  100% rated our service delivery standards as good or excellent.

This is further evidenced by the high level of repeat custom Multi-Medix experiences.

“ISO 13485:2016 certification requires significant commitment – it is not an easy benchmark to achieve or maintain. Well done to all involved”

About Multi-Medix

The Multi-Medix team are built on the foundations of ex-NHS Clinical Scientists and Clinical Technologists, we are passionate about quality, customer service and patient safety.

Multi-Medix are specialists in ultrasound, offering a range of independent multi-brand services at affordable prices.

Multi-Medix are ISO 13485:2016 certified Ultrasound specialists certified by BSI under certificate number MD 677953.

We are the independent choice for specialist diagnostic imaging ultrasound services, offering essential services and savings to Hospitals, Healthcare Professionals, Business’s and Veterinarians.

Would you like to see what we get up to in our lab? Take a look here.

Multi-Medix offers an extensive range of services for Ultrasound Equipment you can find out more here. 

You can also find us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook

Latest News

BMUS Quality Assurance Webinar – November 4th 2020

Diagnostic Ultrasound Quality Assurance Manual

Diagnostic Ultrasound Quality Assurance Manual

Dr Nick Dudley will be presenting at a BMUS hosted webinar tomorrow evening: “An incremental approach to ultrasound QA”.

The webinar has been pre-recorded and will be released at 7pm. Attendees will have the opportunity to watch Nick’s presentation, prior to a live Q&A session at 7.45pm.

The BMUS webinar is free and open to non-members and members for 2 weeks.

Simply register by Tuesday November 3rd, midday, here https://www.bmus.org/mediacentre/events/webinar-an-incremental-approach-to-ultrasound-qa-with-live-q-and-a/

Those that cannot attend the live Q&A will still be able to watch the webinar for two weeks at their convenience.

Dr Nick Dudley and Multi-Medix have been working together to produce the “Diagnostic Ultrasound QA Manual” and videos. It is a practical guide to ultrasound QA that complies with the guidance issued by BMUS, AIUM, EFSUMB and IPEM. The BMUS webinar takes the opportunity to convey the key elements of the QA manual, which will be available in the next 4 weeks.

About Multi-Medix

The Multi-Medix team are built on the foundations of NHS Clinical Scientists, Clinical Technologists, and experienced business leaders, who are passionate about quality, customer service, value for money, and patient safety.

Multi-Medix are ISO 13485:2016 certified by BSI under certificate number MD 677953.

For more information, visit multi-medix.com

Latest News

Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month & AHP day

Today we celebrate AHP day, when we appreciate and recognise the extraordinary work of the Allied Health Professional’s Workforce. AHPs include radiographers and so all those working with ultrasound.

It falls in the middle of Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month. MUAM aims to provide the public with a better understanding of ultrasound and also gives ultrasound professionals a chance to celebrate their profession.

As Multi-Medix are specialists in Ultrasound, it is our month too. Here is what Multi-Medix is doing during October:

AHP Day Rainbow Probe cakesCakes

A celebration would not be complete without cake! Earlier this week we sent cakes to a local NHS hospital to celebrate AHP day 2020.

 

Thank you pin badges

At Multi-Medix we began to recognise the work of sonographers worldwide earlier in the year by creating the “Ultrasound Rainbow” image and distributing a pin badge globally. This workforce has been on the “frontline” using ultrasound as a key diagnostic tool during the Covid-19 pandemic. Often seen as one of the many “unsung heros”, we felt it was essential to thank them. With over 5000 badges sent worldwide, we they will be worn with pride today and this month especially!

 

Quality Assurance Top Tips

As part of MUAM, Multi-Medix is sharing its ultrasound QA  “top tips”. To see all these, short insightful reminders from a company that specialises only in ultrasound, see our social media feeds:

Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/medix_in

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/multimedixultrasound/

Follow us on Linked in https://www.linkedin.com/company/multi-medix-ltd

Quality Assurance Manual

Multi-Medix is passionate about promoting the continued improvement of ultrasound quality assurance provision globally.

As a result it has created a Diagnostic Ultrasound Quality Assurance (QA) Manual that will be available in November.

Find out more here: http://multi-medix.com/diagnostic-ultrasound-quality-assurance-manual-coming-soon/

 

About Multi-Medix

The Multi-Medix team are built on the foundations of NHS Clinical Scientists, Clinical Technologists, and experienced business leaders, who are passionate about quality, customer service, value for money, and patient safety.

Multi-Medix are ISO 13485:2016 certified by BSI under certificate number MD 677953.

For more information, visit multi-medix.com

Latest News

Global interest in the Ultrasound Rainbow Probe Badge

As Medical Ultrasound Month #MUAM and the launch of our User QA Manual approaches, we thought it would be timely to take a look back over the last few months.

In the spring when Covid-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic, healthcare systems across the globe came under serious strain. Many did not realise how ultrasound imaging became a key diagnostic tool to identify Covid-19 in patients.  However, as an ultrasound company we felt a sense of responsibility to make sure the ultrasound community was recognised, and thanked.   Thus, the “Ultrasound Rainbow Probe” badge was manufactured as a symbol of thanks, but also to recognise how hard the community strived to maintain patient care and quality.

Badges were sent to each NHS trust with an imaging department in the UK. News spread via our website and social media and 5,000 badges were quickly gone requiring us to order 2,500 more.

We have now sent badges to the United States of America, Brazil, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and all the way to Australia to name but a few countries. The response and enthusiasm towards the Rainbow Probe badge have been amazing, and some of the pictures we have received have been heart-warming.

As a further thank you, we have written an Ultrasound Quality Assurance Manual.  It aims to provide clear information and practical guidelines for implementing ultrasound QA, and will be distributed from November 2020.

If you would like a badge or or the QA manual please click here http://multi-medix.com/ultrasound-rainbow-probe-pin-badge/

United Lincoln Hospitals NHS Trust

Dr. Harnoor Singh Manesh (left), Dr. Isha (middle), Dr. Sumandeep Kaur Grewal (right), from Grewalz Health Care Sangrur, Punjab, India

Kristen, a vascular technologist from, Pennsylvania USA, with her team of fellow ultrasound technicians

 

About Multi-Medix

The Multi-Medix team are built on the foundations of NHS Clinical Scientists, Clinical Technologists, and experienced business leaders, who are passionate about quality, customer service, value for money, and patient safety.

Multi-Medix are ISO 13485:2016 certified by BSI under certificate number MD 677953.

For more information, visit multi-medix.com