[Ambulatory ultrasound in Basque country: current status, recommendations on its use and practice]

Latorre K, Ramírez D, Tosantos G, Fernández B, Páramo S, Baile MA, Asua J.
Record ID 31999008224
Original Title: Ultrasonidos diagnósticos en régimen ambulatorio en la CAPV: estado actual, recomendaciones de uso y práctica
Authors' objectives: Determine the number and operation of ultrasound units in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, as well as the level of expertise of the specialists who use this equipment. Moreover, through a systematic review of the scientific literature available, to draw up recommendations regarding equipment and professional training.
Authors' results and conclusions: This appraisal has focused upon four specific areas: cardiology, obstetrics-gynaecology, gastroenterology and urology. Data is given on 87 ultrasound units. Of the total number of units, 49 are used for general echography, 14 for echocardiography and 24 for obstetrics and gynaecology. In 36% of cases the age of the units installed is in excess of 7 years and over 5 years in 54% of cases. Echographs are used in a single field in 55.8% per cent of cases, 15% in two and are used in four or more areas in 18% of cases. Use by a single specialist is observed in 32.2% of hospitals compared to 65.2% in outpatients' departments. This apparatus is used by 4 or more specialists in 30.6% of cases in hospital environments and in non-hospital environments in 4.3% of cases. With regard to the level of training among professionals in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, 76.9% completed the established programme. 50% of the professionals surveyed stated that they make more than 40 echographs per week and 20% make more than 80, which would mean an average of 7680 echographs per specialist and year. Recommendations are specified concerning equipment and the professional training proposed by the most relevant scientific societies in this field.
Authors' recommendations: From a review of the echographs in operation in the health service, it can be deduced that all of these, transducers, software and hardware, comply with the recommendations for each specific area. The data collected in the survey reveal the high level of specialisation in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country in the field of echography. The large number of echographs performed by specialists, as well as the measures to keep up professional training levels, are well above those recommended as being desirable by the different associations.
Authors' methods: 1. Surveys carried out in public health centers in order to determine the characteristics of ultrasound units and to study professional training in this field. 2. Automated bibliographival searches in Medline, Cochrane Library, INAHTA, HealthCare Standards, Spanish Medical Index, and manual searches (1989-1998) of studies published in English, French, German and Spanish. 3. Identification, slection and integration of quality information and the preaparation of evidence summary tables. A selection has been made of articles published in magazines of recognised prestige and documents drawn up by proffesional societies, panels or consensus conferences, that set out clinical indications and recommendations for using echographs in different specialits fields. Likewise, an analysis has been made of clinical practice guides and standards recommending the use of echographs and the training of specialists, published by professional associations, health technology assessment agencies and other entities. 4. Peer review of the work that has been carried out. 5. Dissemination of the recommendations on the use and practice of ultrasound tests among the professionals involved in outpatients' departments: family and community medicine services, radiology, cardiology, obstetrics-gynaecology, gastroenterology and urology.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 1998
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Spain
MeSH Terms
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Ultrasonography
  • Cardiology
  • Obstetrics
  • Gynecology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology
  • Family Practice
  • Community Medicine
Organisation Name: Basque Office for Health Technology Assessment
Contact Address: C/ Donostia – San Sebastián, 1 (Edificio Lakua II, 4ª planta) 01010 Vitoria - Gasteiz
Contact Name: Lorea Galnares-Cordero
Contact Email: lgalnares@bioef.eus
Copyright: <p>Osteba (Basque Office for Health Technology Assessment), Health Department of the Basque Government</p>
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.