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The Importance of Correlative Study Data in Vascular Ultrasound Accuracy

At Mint Medical, we ensure that our partners have accurate and confirmed ultrasound results to guide their treatment and surgical decisions. We achieve this through IAC accreditation. Accreditation by IAC is considered the “gold standard” in vascular testing. Every aspect of daily operations and its impact on the quality of patient care is evaluated during the accreditation process. Maintaining quality requires accreditation every three years.  “Facilities that achieve IAC accreditation possess the premier accreditation for imaging and procedure-based modalities, demonstrating a clear dedication that they provide the quality level of patient care and are continuously improving patient outcomes and safety.” (Commission, 2022)

The Importance of Correlative Study Data in Vascular Ultrasound Accuracy

What Correlative Study Data Means

To verify the accuracy of a vascular ultrasound exam, the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) requires that labs provide correlative study data proving that their tests meet national quality standards. IAC reviews these studies and publishes their findings on its website. This information is crucial because it provides assurance to patients and physicians that they are receiving accurate results from the lab’s ultrasound exams. It also helps ensure that doctors can be confident in interpreting the results. Most laboratories offer correlative studies for many tests, but not all.

Why Should Clinicians Care About Correlative Study Data?

Correlative study data ensures that the vascular ultrasound exam is accurate and reliable. To validate the accuracy of an ultrasound exam, a lab must provide data proving that the test meets national quality standards. Without this data, clinicians cannot be sure if the vascular ultrasound exam they are receiving is accurate or not, and this could potentially lead to misdiagnosis.

Quality Assurance

While IAC examines study accuracy, a comprehensive quality assurance program should audit the non-invasive testing for sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value regularly. It is recommended that the correlative studies for IAC Accreditation be carried out at least twice a year.

Mint Medical helps labs implement comprehensive quality assurance programs so that continuous improvement can be achieved after correlative studies are performed in different facilities.  We have obtained accreditation for nearly 20% of all vascular lab facilities in California. Only forty-five facilities throughout the state have earned this recognition. With our tools and experience, Mint Medical can effectively manage the accreditation process for our partners, from initial application to maintenance and renewal.

Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC)

The IAC Vascular Diagnostic Evaluation Accreditation Program promotes and evaluates the quality of vascular diagnostic evaluations to ensure high standards of patient care.

The accreditation programs offered by the IAC are those for vascular testing, echocardiography, nuclear/PET, MRI, diagnostic CT, dental CT, carotid stenting, vein treatment and management, cardiac electrophysiology, and cardiovascular catheterization. All IAC accreditation programs support one common mission: to promote health care and ensure quality patient care.

Standards for accreditation are periodically reviewed and changed by the IAC. A lab’s quality assurance program should be maintained to ensure the facility does not lose its IAC accreditation, and there are typical audits within the three-year accreditation cycle.

Download The IAC Standards for Vascular Testing Accreditation