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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 114-118

A single-centre audit of request forms and the 2011 appropriate use criteria for transthoracic echocardiography

Department of Medicine, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ejiroghene Martha Umuerri
Department of Medicine, Delta State University, PMB 01, Abraka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_4_20

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Background: Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is a useful diagnostic tool in cardiology practice. The information provided by the requesting physician is a helpful guide in the interpretation of findings. This study aimed to audit echocardiography request forms (ECFs). Methods: A 3-year retrospective audit of echocardiography request forms (ERFs) received at a community-based echocardiography centre in Delta State, Nigeria. Delta State University Teaching Hospital Health Research Ethics Committee granted ethical approval to conduct this study. Data extracted from the ERFs were patients' name, age, sex, address and indication/background clinical information, the name and signature of requesting physician, name of referring hospital and date of the request. Evaluation of the appropriateness of the indications for echocardiography was done using 2011 Revised American College of Cardiology Foundation's appropriate use criteria (AUC). The corresponding echocardiograms were coded as normal or abnormal reports. Data were anonymised and analysed using the SPSS software version 23. Results: All the 412 ERFs audited had the names of the patients. The patients' age, sex and address were missing in 22.6%, 11.4% and 92.5% of the ERFs, respectively. A total of 119 (28.9%) ERFs lacked indication/clinical information and thus unclassifiable using the 2011 AUC. Of the remaining ERFs, the AUC was appropriate, inappropriate and uncertain in 259 (88.4%), 26 (8.9%) and 8 (2.7%), respectively. Majority of the ERFs with uncertain indications had normal echocardiograms. The echocardiograms of 78% (93/119) of the patients whose ERFs lacked indication/clinical information were abnormal. Conclusion: In this study, ERFs were inadequately filled. However, majority of the stated indications/clinical information for TTE were classified as appropriate.

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