Physician Attitudes toward the First Pediatric Appropriate Use Criteria and Engagement With Educational Intervention to Improve the Appropriateness of Outpatient Echocardiography

Ritu Sachdeva, Michael S. Kelleman, Courtney E. McCracken, Robert M. Campbell, Wyman W. Lai, Leo Lopez, Kenan W.D. Stern, Elizabeth Welch, Pamela S. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background A survey of pediatric cardiologists who participated in the Pediatric Appropriate Use of Echocardiography study was conducted to assess attitudes toward appropriate use criteria (AUC) and the relationship between perceptions of usefulness of a multifaceted educational intervention (EI) and the appropriateness of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). Methods Self-reported helpfulness and impact of a four-component EI (feedback of personal appropriateness data before EI, lecture, self-assignment of AUC indications, and monthly feedback) was surveyed. Physicians' perceptions were correlated with measured changes in appropriateness after EI by center. Results Responses were obtained from 54 of 89 physicians (61%; 52% general cardiologists, 24% imaging specialists), and most (72%) felt that AUC were helpful in health care cost reduction. More physicians with ≤10 years of experience self-reported ordering TTE less often because of AUC (P =.04). Subspecialty did not influence TTE ordering practice. Centers whose physicians had higher rates of reading the document had higher appropriateness. A change in practice following EI was self-reported by 31 of 54 respondents (57%). All components of EI were felt to be helpful. Helpfulness and self-reported impact of each EI component tracked together (r = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.16–0.85; P =.01) but varied among centers. Centers with higher perceived practice impact of EI overall had greater changes in measured appropriateness after EI. Conclusions AUC were perceived to be useful by a majority of pediatric cardiologists surveyed. Centers with a positive attitude toward AUC and higher engagement with EI had higher actual appropriateness of TTE orders. Improving physicians' attitudes toward AUC and EI may improve outpatient TTE utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)926-931.e2
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017



  • Appropriate use criteria
  • Outpatient
  • Pediatric echocardiography
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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