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Starting an Ultrasound User QA Programme?

We are often asked how hospitals & clinics can start an Ultrasound User QA Programme. Read on to find out why an Ultrasound User QA  programme should be implemented, how it can be delivered and 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 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.

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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.

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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 to 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 the 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 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