Following a mandate from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, INESSS has published a report on the optimal use of cardiac ultrasound in Quebec.
Echocardiography is a non-invasive and rapid imaging technique that plays a vital role in the diagnosis and monitoring of multiple cardiovascular conditions. However, access to this type of examination is compromised by long waiting lists, which can lead to increased morbidity and mortality as well as substantial economic impacts.
This report aims to support clinicians, particularly in the first line of care, in the decision whether or not to use echocardiography for the diagnosis and follow-up of heart valve disease in patients presenting with a murmur or those with a disease valve or with a prosthetic heart valve. Reducing the number of low diagnostic value investigations could lead to improved access to echocardiography, improved patient quality of life, and ultimately, reductions in costs for the health system.
The report provides indications for optimal use that have been developed based on scientific evidence and expert consensus, as well as clinical decision support tools.