Quality and Value

Our mission is to provide services to NHS patients of an extremely high quality, embrace innovative technologies to equip the best trained staff forming a cohesive and supportive department.

Exploiting the flexibility of our workforce and mobile technical resources we are able to supply this service in a way that represents excellent value for money to the taxpayer.

Ensuring Quality

Echotech has been a partner with the NHS in the delivery of cardiac ultrasound since 2001. Over this time, Echotech has developed a set of challenging quality targets which have been consistently exceeded. For example, more than 30% of all studies are reviewed on a weekly basis for peer review and quality assurance purposes. In addition, other measurable factors such as DNA rates are visible to management to enhance quality and maximise efficiency. Consequently, the Echotech Patient Management Centre demonstrates a DNA rate of less than 2%.  The national average DNA rate is 11%. All these criteria are reported in Echotech’s Quality Accounts which are readily available to commissioners and regulatory authorities.

Echotech holds British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) Departmental Accreditation. The award of this status in August 2008 followed a comprehensive assessment of Echotech’s clinical and operational processes.

Where standards for accrediting departments exist, these could be used as a basis for supporting commissioning.
Cardiac Imaging. A Report from the National Imaging Board. March 2010

Delivering Value

The Echotech service model is that of a 'virtual’ department of clinicians, cardiac physiologists and support staff. This virtual department provides cardiac diagnostics in the primary care setting, and thus displays the innovative and efficient characteristics as required in the NHS Next Stage Review.

Delivery of high quality care in the community reduces the overall cost burden for managing heart failure, including a reduction in inappropriate secondary care attendances and the more efficient and appropriate use of specialist teams.

In 2009 Echotech commissioned a study to compare the Echotech (community echocardiography) care pathway to the more 'traditional’ pathways. Specifically, the cost of various Referral to Treatment (RTT) pathways were compared, for patients with suspected cardiac abnormalities.

The study demonstrates a cost saving of 61% for the Echotech pathway when compared to the cost of the traditional Outpatients route. As an additional benefit, the maximum waiting time for Echo is currently two weeks (Echotech Patient Management Centre), in line with the new NICE Guideline.