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Ultrasound Accreditation

The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) Collaborate to Develop Ultrasound Accreditation Program for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Practices


Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery practices now have a pathway for accreditation for the performance of ultrasound in the practice of otolaryngology. The accreditation program was developed by a joint task force consisting of members from AAO-HNS and the AIUM. The accreditation program is offered by the AIUM. This is a voluntary program developed so that otolaryngology practices can demonstrate through an objective third party (AIUM) that high quality imaging is being performed in a safe environment by trained providers.

The AAO-HNS/AIUM Joint Ultrasound Task Force created AIUM Practice Guideline for the Performance of Ultrasound Examinations of the Head and Neck, Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Ultrasound Practices, and Training Guidelines for Physicians Who Evaluate and Interpret Diagnostic Ultrasound Examinations of the Head and Neck. These documents provide the framework for the AIUM accreditation program for the performance of ultrasound in the practice of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery.

The AAO-HNS/AIUM Practice Guideline on the use of ultrasound in the practice of otolaryngology for accreditation purposes is separate and distinct from, and should not be confused with AAO-HNS's Clinical Practice Guidelines that involve a process of systematic review and analysis, ranking of evidence, development of guideline statements linked to strength of evidence, and thorough peer review.

About the AIUM

The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine is a multidisciplinary medical association of more than 9,000 physicians, sonographers, and scientists dedicated to advancing the safe and effective use of ultrasound in medicine through professional and public education, research, development of guidelines, and accreditation. For more information, visit www.aium.org.

Contact AIUM Accreditation

All inquiries regarding the AAO-HNS/AIUM practice certification program should be addressed to the contact information below.

AIUM Accreditation Department
14750 Sweitzer Lane
Suite 100
Laurel, MD 20707-5906
Phone: 301-498-4100
Email: accreditation@aium.org

FAQs About Ultrasound Accreditation

Q. What is the AIUM?

A. The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine is a multidisciplinary association dedicated to advancing the safe and effective use of ultrasound in medicine through professional and public education, research, development of guidelines, and accreditation.

Q. How were the requirements for ultrasound accreditation in the practice of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery determined?

A. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine jointly developed and approved the guidelines for physician training and experience, continuing medical education requirements, and the guidelines for the performance of ultrasound examinations in the practice of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery.

Q. What is ultrasound practice accreditation?

A. Summary:

  • Ultrasound practice accreditation is a peer review process by which providers can demonstrate that they meet nationally recognized standards and guidelines.
  • Unlike certification, ultrasound practice accreditation looks at all aspects of the ultrasound components of your practice, including:
    • Physician training and experience in performing and/or interpreting ultrasound examinations
    • Non-physician qualifications to perform ultrasound examinations
    • Ultrasound exam protocols
    • Ultrasound machine maintenance and calibration
    • Transducer cleaning and disinfection
    • Evaluation of actual case studies
  • Also, unlike certification, all of the physicians in the practice who perform and/or interpret ultrasound exams are covered under a single application.
  • A practice that performs ultrasound studies at several locations may cover all of the sites under a single application.

Q. What are the benefits of otolaryngologic ultrasound accreditation?

A. Third party payers that require accreditation in ultrasound as a condition for reimbursement recognize AIUM-accredited ultrasound practices as meeting their requirements. An accreditation of your otlaryngology practice will show that you believe in providing care of the utmost quality, in using equipment that is calibrated and monitored yearly to make sure images are clear, and affirms that the practice has a high level of concern for their patients.

Q. What are the steps to receive accreditation?

A. Access the AIUM webpage with all the information needed to "Get Started."

Q. How do I contact the AIUM if I have questions on the accreditation process?

A. The AIUM Accreditation Department can be reached at 301-498-4100, 800-638-5352 or accreditation@aium.org with any problems or questions regarding the accreditation process.

Q. What role does AAO-HNS play in the accreditation process?

A. The AAO-HNS provides educational opportunities that enable otolaryngologists to meet the training guidelines required for accreditation. The courses offered by the AAO-HNS include didactic and hands-on courses in otolaryngologic ultrasound with AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ Level 2 certification. The AAO-HNS Hands-on Otolaryngologic Ultrasound Course is offered at the AAO-HNS Annual Meeting. 

The AAO-HNS collaborated with the AIUM to develop the criteria for the accreditation program specifically for otolaryngologic practices. The AAO-HNS does not require accreditation. Application and approval for accreditation are through the AIUM only.