Setting Benchmarks for Equipment, Staff, and Tests.

The AIUM's Ultrasound Practice Accreditation Council is made up of professionals with an interest in quality ultrasound: obstetricians, gynecologists, radiologists, family practitioners, surgeons, and sonographers. Their goal is to provide health care facilities with the detailed specifications - based on nationally accepted standards - and the tools they need to perform ultrasound procedures accurately and consistently.

Here's an example: like any piece of high-tech equipment, an ultrasound machine needs to be calibrated regularly against some recognized benchmark, like a standardized plastic "phantom" that closely mimics the ultrasound characteristics of live human organs and tissues. This ensures that the ultrasound images from each procedure will give the most accurate and complete clinical information for the sonographer and your doctor.

The quality of the examinations is judged by reviewing actual case studies to see that they are complete, detailed, technically acceptable, and accurately reported.

To keep staff members who perform ultrasound examinations up-to-date on the latest and best practices in the field, the AIUM requires appropriate training, as well as continuing education in the field.

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