The Direct Access Community Echo Service

Echotech has been delivering Open Access community echo services across the UK for several years. The aim of such services is to offer patients, via their GP, prompt (within two weeks) and local access to this gold standard diagnostic test. The majority of the Echotech direct access community echo services are not just confined to patients with suspected heart failure but also include patients with heart murmur and suspected cardiomyopathy.

In West Sussex, the direct access echo service is delivered by us from 5 locations across the county and has been demonstrated (through independent audit) to have greatly reduced the number of onward referrals to cardiology, creating a cost saving of over 60% compared to the traditional consultant led outpatient service model (see case study). Pivotal to these cost savings and the overall efficiency of the service is the Echotech Patient Management Centre – waiting time from GP referral to echo is within 2 weeks, DNA rate is less than 2% and results are returned within 24 hours.

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