The ultrasound practice of the University of Florida College of Medicine’s department of obstetrics and gynecology recently earned three-year accreditation from the American Institute for Ultrasound in Medicine, or AIUM, a prestigious recognition that places the unit among the best in the nation.
The AIUM, an organization dedicated to improving the art and science of ultrasound, notes that its accreditation means an institution meets or exceeds the highest nationally recognized standards for performing and interpreting diagnostic ultrasound examinations.
“I am proud of our team for earning this important accreditation,” said Reem S. Abu-Rustum, M.D., director of OB-GYN ultrasound services, education and research, and an associate professor in the department’s division of maternal fetal medicine.
“This puts us in a leadership role in Florida and recognizes the elite quality of our ultrasound unit,” she added. “It confirms that we adhere to the very highest standards, ensuring greater diagnostic accuracy. This translates into enhanced safety and optimal outcomes for our patients.”
Ultrasounds are widely used in medicine as an effective and noninvasive tool to peer into the body using sound waves. The images produced, which can include video, are called sonograms. Among many medical applications, they are frequently employed to monitor a baby’s health in the womb.
The OB-GYN ultrasound practice earned accreditation in several areas. It became the first in Florida and one of fewer than 30 nationally to gain accreditation for detailed first-trimester ultrasounds.
Additionally, the unit became one of fewer than two dozen in Florida to gain accreditation for 3D gynecology ultrasounds. This type of ultrasound uses advanced software and imaging techniques to provide a clearer image in 3D to detect details in pelvic organs that might otherwise go unseen in a two-dimensional sonogram.
OB-GYN also earned AIUM accreditation for its gynecology practice and for detailed second-trimester examinations.
These accreditations apply to OB-GYN practices at the UF Health Women’s Centers at Medical Plaza and Springhill in Gainesville and Heath Brook in Ocala.
“This has been a rigorous process,” said John Smulian, M.D., M.P.H., who holds the B.L. Stalnaker Professorship in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is chair of UF Health’s OB-GYN department. “Our successful accreditation across multiple sites and focus areas places us among the top ultrasound teams in the nation. Congratulations to everyone who made this possible.”
The certification process, Abu-Rustum said, looked at every aspect of the OB-GYN ultrasound service at UF Health. The AIUM examines whether personnel, including physicians and sonographers, are adequately trained and meet high qualifications. It also ensures equipment is of high quality and well maintained; that unit-specific protocols meet national standards; and that personnel engage in continuous medical education.
In addition, the AIUM determines if safety requirements meet exacting standards and that the practice has ongoing quality assurance.
The AIUM review is so comprehensive, Abu-Rustum said, that it even looks at whether sonographers maintain proper ergonomics to avoid injury.
“I take such pride in our incredible team,” she said. “It takes a village, and this recognition would not have been possible without the dedication of so many people.”