IAC Vascular Testing - Newsroom

IAC Releases Updates to Standards & Guidelines for Vascular Testing Accreditation
New Standards Effective May 1, 2021

NOVEMBER 1, 2020 | As an accreditation organization, IAC Vascular Testing is committed to maintaining a program that balances the changing needs of both the vascular testing community and the general public by influencing the quality of patient care provided. The IAC Standards and Guidelines for Vascular Testing Accreditation are the most important component of that commitment. Composed by physicians and technologists from the IAC sponsoring organizations, the Standards are reviewed periodically by the Board of Directors and revised as needed.

As a component of the accreditation process, the IAC Vascular Testing Board of Directors preliminarily approved the proposed Standards which were recently posted to the IAC Vascular Testing website for a 60-day public comment period.

View / Download the 2020 Vascular Testing Standards»

Key Revisions to the Standards

Key modifications or additions are shown in the current Standards in highlighting and include:

  • Medical Director Required Training and Experience, Responsibilities and Continuing Medical Education (Applicable Standards 1.1.1A-1.1.3A)
  • Technical Director Required Training and Experience and Continuing Medical Education (Applicable Standards 1.2.1A ,1.2.3A)
  • Medical Staff Required Training and Experience and Continuing Medical Education (Applicable Standards 1.3.1A ,1.3.3A)
  • Technical Staff Required Training and Experience and Continuing Medical Education (Applicable Standards 1.4.1A ,1.4.3A)
  • Facility - Interpretation Areas (Applicable Standard 2.2.1A)
  • Facility - Storage (Applicable Standard 2.3A)
  • Examination Interpretation and Reports (Applicable Standards 3.2.6.5A, 3.2.7A-3.2.10A)
  • Diagnostic Criteria (Applicable Standard 3.4.1.1A)
  • Diagnostic Criteria - Peripheral Arterial (Applicable Standard 3.7A)
  • Diagnostic Criteria - Peripheral Venous (Applicable Standard 3.8A)
  • Diagnostic Criteria - Visceral Vascular (Applicable Standard 3.9A)
  • Diagnostic Criteria - Screening (Applicable Standard 3.10A)
  • Multiple Sites (Applicable Standards 6.1.3.3A, 6.1.6.1A)
  • Peripheral Arterial Testing - Protocols (Applicable Standard 3.3.9B)
  • Peripheral Arterial Testing - Documentation (Applicable Standard 3.8.7B)
  • Visceral Vascular Testing - Protocols (Applicable Standard 5.3.6B, 5.4B)
  • Visceral Vascular Testing - Documentation (Applicable Standard 5.9.7B)

Standards that are highlighted are content changes that were made as part of the November 1, 2020 revision. These Standards become effective May 1, 2021. Facilities applying for accreditation after May 1, 2021 must comply with these new highlighted Standards.

Proposed Changes to IAC Vascular Testing Standards Available for Public Comment Through October 5, 2020 - COMMENT PERIOD NOW CLOSED

AUGUST 5, 2020 | In keeping with the IAC's continued commitment to streamlining and simplifying the accreditation process, we are pleased to announce that the public has the opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the IAC Standards & Guidelines for Vascular Testing Accreditation.

The Standards are reviewed periodically by the IAC Vascular Testing Board of Directors and revised as needed. As a component to the accreditation process, proposed Standards that have been approved by the Board of Directors are then posted to the IAC website for a 60-day public comment period. These proposed Standards include changes to the current Standards and/or the addition of new Standards.

Review Standards / Submit a Comment»

To Submit a Comment on Proposed Standards:

  1. Visit the IAC comment period website at intersocietal.org/iac/comment _period.htm#vascular or click the button above;
  2. Select the proposed Vascular Testing Standard you wish to comment on;
  3. A window will expand with the description of the existing Standard and the proposed change on the left;
  4. Click on the link to open a PDF containing the existing Standard language or the proposed revisions to the existing Standards (proposed changes are shown in the PDF as highlighting);
  5. On the right, fill in your name and comment in the boxes provided;
  6. Hit Submit.

At the close of the comment period, the IAC Vascular Testing Board of Directors will review all submitted comments, consider modifications as needed and vote for final approval of the Standards. The approved Standards will be posted to the IAC Vascular Testing website and available for download at intersocietal.org/vascular/seeking/vascular_standards.htm.

Statement from the Board of Directors of the IAC Vascular Testing Division - Limited Examinations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

APRIL 7, 2020 | We recognize the extreme challenges and stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our health care system. The safety of patients as well as technical and medical staff of our vascular testing facilities is a priority of the IAC.

In response to the pandemic, we would like to refer our participating facilities to an important recent statement by the Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU) (see link below). IAC Vascular Testing supports facility-specific efforts to limit vascular testing to studies that are essential and important for clinical decision making with postponement of screening and/or surveillance examinations until after the pandemic and as determined by facility Medical and Technical Director(s) and consistent with local and state directives. 

IAC Vascular Testing strongly supports protecting vascular laboratory staff with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and robust initiatives related to cleaning and decontamination of vascular testing equipment and patient care areas.

We recognize that vascular testing is an essential component of care for many hospitalized inpatients and that essential studies may need to be performed on patients who are either COVID-19 positive or undergoing evaluation for COVID-19, such as venous duplex examinations to rule out deep vein thrombosis. 

While IAC Standards require facilities to have comprehensive and standardized testing protocols, during this health care crisis, we recognize the importance of minimizing exposure time of technical staff during performance of vascular studies while still allowing for capture of necessary images for clinical decision making.

Accredited IAC Vascular Testing facilities may implement limited testing protocols for use during the COVID-19 pandemic as directed by the Medical and Technical Director(s). These protocols should be adapted to patient and facility-specific factors including availability of personnel and equipment. These limited protocols may not include all elements of the IAC Vascular Testing Standards. For example, a laboratory may abbreviate its venous duplex testing protocols specifically for scanning patients who are known or suspected of being COVID-19 positive. 

Please know that IAC Vascular Testing supports your hard work and dedication during this most difficult time. As always, please contact Marge Hutchisson, BS, RVT, RDCS, RPhS, Director of Accreditation - Vascular Testing, at (443) 718-8059 or via e-mail with any questions.

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Reference: Statement from the Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU) regarding the COVID-19 pandemic:
www.svu.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Vascular-Laboratory-Responses-During-COVID-03272020.pdf.

IAC Director of Accreditation Marge Hutchisson Honored with Award at SVU 2019

AUGUST 2019 | Marge Hutchisson, BS, RVT, RDCS, RPhS, IAC Vascular Testing - Director of Accreditation was honored with the D.E. Strandness, MD, Scientific Award for Excellence in Scientific Research at the 2019 SVU Annual Conference. This annual award is in honor of the “Father of Noninvasive Diagnosis,” D.E. Strandness, MD, who passed away in 2002.

IAC Releases Updates to Vascular Testing Standards - New Standards Effective January 15, 2020

JULY 15, 2019 | As an accreditation organization, IAC Vascular Testing is committed to maintaining a program that balances the changing needs of both the vascular testing community and the general public by influencing the quality of patient care provided. The IAC Standards and Guidelines for Vascular Testing Accreditation are the most important component of that commitment. Composed by physicians and technologists from the IAC sponsoring organizations, the Standards are reviewed periodically by the Board of Directors and revised as needed.

As a component of the accreditation process, the IAC Vascular Testing Board of Directors preliminarily approved the proposed Standards which were posted to the IAC Vascular Testing website for a 60-day public comment period from February 15 to April 15, 2019. View / Download the 2019 Vascular Testing Standards»

Statement Regarding Proposed Changes to Patient Position: The IAC Vascular Testing Board of Directors appreciates the input put forward by the vascular ultrasound and vein center communities during the 60-day comment period for the IAC Standards & Guidelines for Vascular Testing Accreditation. Based on the comments received, the IAC has decided not to implement the proposed changes to the Standards requiring that peripheral venous examinations for reflux assessment be performed with the patient in the standing position, at the present time. However, this important topic will be reviewed again and possibly put forth again for public comment in the future. A multi-modality IAC task force comprised of vascular testing and venous treatment experts has been formed to further explore this Standard for future implementation. At the present time, standing remains the preferred position if not constrained by the patient’s physical condition. Patient position must be noted in the final report.

Key Revisions to the Standards

Key modifications or additions are shown in the current Standards in highlighting and include:

  • Peripheral Venous Testing - Techniques (Applicable Standards 4.4.1.8B, 4.4.1.12B)
  • Peripheral Venous Testing - Documentation (Applicable Standards 4.5.3.1B, 4.6.2B, 4.7.1.1B, 4.7.1.2B, 4.7.2.1B, 4.7.2.2B, 4.7.2.3B)
  • Peripheral Venous Testing - Procedure Volumes (Applicable Standard 4.8B)

Standards that are highlighted are content changes that were made as part of the July 15, 2019 revision. These Standards become effective January 15, 2020. Facilities applying for accreditation after January 15, 2020 must comply with these new highlighted Standards.

Proposed Changes to IAC Vascular Testing Standards Open for Public Comment Through April 15, 2019 - COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED

FEBRUARY 15, 2019 | In keeping with the IAC's continued commitment to streamlining and simplifying the accreditation process, we are pleased to announce that the public has the opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the IAC Standards & Guidelines for Vascular Testing Accreditation.

For an explanation on the proposed changes to the venous section of the Vascular Testing Standards, please click here.

The Standards are reviewed periodically by the IAC Vascular Testing Board of Directors and revised as needed. As a component to the accreditation process, proposed Standards that have been approved by the Board of Directors are then posted to the IAC website for a 60-day public comment period. These proposed Standards include changes to the current Standards and/or the addition of new Standards.

To Submit a Comment on Proposed Standards:

  1. Visit the IAC comment period website at intersocietal.org/iac/comment _period.htm#vascular or click the button below;
  2. Select the proposed Vascular Testing Standard you wish to comment on;
  3. A window will expand with the description of the Standard and the proposed change on the left;
  4. On the right, fill in your name and comment in the boxes provided;
  5. Hit Submit.

At the close of the comment period, the IAC Vascular Testing Board of Directors will review all submitted comments, consider modifications as needed and vote for final approval of the Standards. The approved Standards will be posted to the IAC Vascular Testing website and available for download at intersocietal.org/vascular/seeking/vascular_standards.htm.

2019 Update On IAC Vascular Testing Carotid Diagnostic Criteria Research Project

JANUARY 2019 | In 2014, IAC Vascular Testing published a white paper document regarding carotid diagnostic criteria and its activities in this arena1. The document discussed the wide variability in carotid stenosis interpretation across accredited facilities and summarized data from surveys of IAC-accredited laboratories that support efforts toward standardization. The document described plans to internally validate carotid diagnostic criteria for use in IAC accredited facilities, including commissioning of a Carotid Research Committee.

The Carotid Research Committee has continued to make progress on this project. Eleven clinical sites (listed below) submitted protocol-directed case study materials. All case studies (bilateral carotid duplex studies and catheter-based angiograms) have been collected and technical data has been abstracted from the studies. Ultrasounds have undergone interpretive review by a panel of reviewers and angiograms have been analyzed using NASCET methodology. The study data set is complete and the statistical analysis is being finalized. Presentation and publication of study data are anticipated by the end of 2019.

The IAC will continue to provide updates regarding this project as results are available and published, as well as information regarding plans for implementation of the study findings. With regard to which carotid diagnostic criteria to use at the present time, IAC Vascular Testing continues to recommend that in the absence of an internally validated, single set of diagnostic criteria, facilities should consider the use of one single set of standardized diagnostic criteria: The Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound (SRU) criteria for carotid stenosis interpretation2. Facilities that have internally validated their own criteria may continue to use these criteria.

IAC Vascular Testing would like to thank the vascular community for its sustained interest in the Carotid Diagnostic Criteria project and its patience in awaiting the study findings.

Participating Sites in the Diagnostic Criteria Research Project:

  • Cleveland Clinic (Heather Gornik, Alia Grattan)
  • Novant Health Heart and Vascular Institute (Kelly Estes)
  • Riverside Radiology (Lucy LaPerna)
  • Tri-Health (Joann Lohr)
  • University at Buffalo (Adnan Siddiqui)
  • University Hospital and Clinics (Michel Comeaux)
  • University of Maryland (Michael Lilly)
  • University of Miami (Tatjana Rundek)
  • University of Pittsburgh (Steven Leers)
  • University of Southern California (Susana Perese)
  • University of Washington (R. Eugene Zierler)

Members of the IAC Vascular Testing Carotid Research Committee: - Andrei V. Alexandrov, MD, RVT, James Benenati, MD, Nirvikar Dahiya, MD, FSRU, Hannah Gardener, PhD (Study Statistician), Heather Gornik, MD, RVT, RPVI (Chairperson), Naomi Hamburg, MD, MS, RPVI, FASE, Ann Marie Kupinski, PhD, RVT, RDMS, Steven Leers, MD, RVT, Michael Lilly, MD, RVT, RPVI, Joann Lohr, MD, FACS, RVT, Laurence Needleman, MD, John S. Pellerito, MD, FACR, FSRU, FAIUM, Kenneth Rholl, MD, RVT, FSIR, Tatjana Rundek, MD, PhD, Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, FAHA, Melissa A. Vickery, LPN-B, RVT, FSVU, Marge Hutchisson, BS, RVT, RDCS, RPhS (IAC Vascular Testing Director of Accreditation).

References:

  1. IAC Vascular Testing White Paper on Carotid Stenosis interpretation criteria Available at: www.intersocietal.org/vascular/forms/iaccarotidcriteriawhitepaper1-2014.pdf
  2. Grant EG, Benson CB, Moneta GL, Alexandrov AV, Baker JD, Bluth EI, et al. Carotid artery stenosis: grayscale and Doppler US diagnosis – Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound Consensus Conference. Radiology, 2003. pp. 340-6.

2018 Update On IAC Vascular Testing Carotid Diagnostic Criteria Research Project

FEBRUARY 2018 | In 2014, IAC Vascular Testing published a white paper document regarding carotid diagnostic criteria and its activities in this arena.1 The document discusses the variability in carotid stenosis interpretation across accredited facilities and summarizes data from surveys of IAC-accredited facilities that support efforts toward standardization. The document describes plans to internally validate carotid diagnostic criteria for use in IAC-accredited facilities, including commissioning of a Carotid Research Committee.

As an update, the IAC Vascular Testing Carotid Research Committee met on February 8, 2018 to review progress of its diagnostic criteria project. Eleven clinical sites (listed below) have submitted protocol-directed case study materials. At this time, all case studies (bilateral carotid duplex studies and catheter-based angiograms) have been collected and the technical data has been abstracted from these studies. Ultrasounds have undergone interpretive review and angiograms have been interpreted using NASCET methodology. The study data are currently being analyzed and the committee will meet in summer 2018 to review the results and determine plans for publication and dissemination of the study findings. It is anticipated that study results will be disseminated by the end of 2018.   

The IAC will continue to provide updates regarding this project as it moves ahead and information regarding plans for implementation of the study findings. With regard to which carotid diagnostic criteria to use at the present time, IAC Vascular Testing continues to recommend that in the absence of an internally validated single set of diagnostic criteria, facilities should consider the use of one single set of standardized diagnostic criteria: The Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound (SRU) Criteria for Carotid Stenosis Interpretation.2 Facilities that have internally validated their own criteria may continue to use these criteria.

Participating Sites in the Diagnostic Criteria Research Project:

  • Cleveland Clinic (Heather Gornik, Alia Grattan)
  • Novant Health Heart and Vascular Institute (Kelly Estes)
  • Riverside Radiology (Lucy LaPerna)
  • Tri-Health (Joann Lohr)
  • University at Buffalo (Adnan Siddiqui)
  • University Hospital and Clinics (Michel Comeaux)
  • University of Maryland (Michael Lilly)
  • University of Miami (Tatjana Rundek)
  • University of Pittsburgh (Steven Leers)
  • University of Southern California (Susana Perese Robison)
  • University of Washington (R. Eugene Zierler)

Members of the IAC Vascular Testing Carotid Research Committee: Andrei V. Alexandrov, MD, RVT; James Benenati, MD; Nirvikar Dahiya, MD, FSRU; Hannah Gardener, PhD (Study Statistician); Heather Gornik, MD, RVT, RPVI (Chairperson); Naomi Hamburg, MD, MS, RPVI, FASE; Ann Marie Kupinski, PhD, RVT, RDMS; Steven Leers, MD, RVT; Michael Lilly, MD, RVT, RPVI; Joann Lohr, MD, FACS, RVT; Laurence Needleman, MD; John S. Pellerito, MD, FACR, FSRU, FAIUM; Kenneth Rholl, MD, RVT, FSIR; Tatjana Rundek, MD, PhD; Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, FAHA; Melissa A. Vickery, LPN-B, RVT, FSVU; Marge Hutchisson, BS, RVT, RDCS, RPhS (IAC Vascular Testing Director of Accreditation).

References:

  1. IAC Vascular Testing White Paper on Carotid Stenosis Interpretation Criteria: www.intersocietal.org/vascular/forms/iaccarotidcriteriawhitepaper1-2014.pdf
  2. Grant EG, Benson CB, Moneta GL, Alexandrov AV, Baker JD, Bluth EI, et al. Carotid Artery Stenosis: Gray-Scale and Doppler US Diagnosis – Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound Consensus Conference, Radiology: 2003; 340-346.

IAC Releases Updates to Vascular Testing Standards - New Standards Effective July 15, 2018

JANUARY 15, 2018 | As an accreditation organization, IAC Vascular Testing is committed to maintaining a program that balances the changing needs of both the vascular testing community and the general public by influencing the quality of patient care provided. The IAC Standards and Guidelines for Vascular Testing Accreditation are the most important component of that commitment. Composed by physicians and technologists from the IAC sponsoring organizations, the Standards are reviewed periodically by the Board of Directors and revised as needed.

As a component of the accreditation process, the IAC Vascular Testing Board of Directors preliminarily approved the proposed Standards which were posted to the IAC Vascular Testing website for a 60-day public comment period from October 5 to December 5, 2017. Following careful review and consideration of the comments received, the Board of Directors voted final approval of the Standards.

Access the Standards

View the new Standards on the IAC Vascular Testing website:

Download: The IAC Standards and Guidelines for Vascular Testing Accreditation

Key Revisions to the Standards

Key modifications or additions are shown in the current Standards in highlighting and include:

  • Medical Director Required Training and Experience (Applicable Standard 1.1.1A)
  • Medical Staff Required Training and Experience (Applicable Standard 1.3.1A)
  • Diagnostic Criteria – Extracranial Cerebrovascular (Applicable Standard 3.5.1.5A)
  • Diagnostic Criteria – Peripheral Arterial (Applicable Standard 3.7.1.5A)
  • Diagnostic Criteria – Visceral Vascular (Applicable Standard 3.9.1.6A)
  • Documentation – Extracranial Cerebrovascular (Applicable Standard 1.7B
  • Documentation– Peripheral Arterial (Applicable Standard 3.7B)
  • Techniques – Peripheral Venous (Applicable Standard 4.4B)
  • Documentation – Peripheral Venous (Applicable Standards 4.5B through 4.7B)
  • Documentation– Visceral Vascular (Applicable Standard 5.7B and 5.9B)

Standards that are highlighted are content changes that were made as part of the January 15, 2018 revision. These Standards will become effective on July 15, 2018. Facilities applying for accreditation after July 15, 2018 must comply with these new highlighted Standards.

News Archive (Articles Prior to 2018)

2017 (click on the article name to view PDF)

2016 (click on the article name to view PDF)

2015 (click on the article name to view PDF)

2014 (click on the article name to view PDF)

2013 (click on the article name to view PDF)

2012 (click on the article name to view PDF)

2011 (click on the article name to view PDF)

2010 (click on the article name to view PDF)