Result card

  • ORG15: What kind of quality assurance is needed and how should it be organised?

What kind of quality assurance is needed and how should it be organised?

Authors: Janek Saluse, Kristi Liiv, Raul-Allan Kiivet

Internal reviewers: Grace Jennings, Scott Goulden

UK recommendations for AAA screening organisation {2} were used to describe quality assurance (QA) aspects of systematic population-based AAA screening.

QA systems support commissioners and providers in clinical governance so that core processes are safe and the programme achieves better outcomes. Several activities are involved, including:

  • accredited training programmes and continuing professional development of staff
  • regular appraisal and refresher training
  • standardised calibration of equipment
  • monitoring of standardised outcome and performance information with feedback of comparative information to local services from national analysis of screening data, AAA surgery and AAA deaths
  • site visits for peer review
  • supporting activities for avoidance and management of serious incidents

Ultrasound equipment

  • range of standard commercial phantom test objects used, with tests undertaken by an independent Registered Clinical Scientist (Medical Physics)
  • periodic testing
  • as per acceptance tests, using the same test objects and undertaken by the similarly qualified staff and results reported to the screening office Carried out on an annual basis
  • regular testing
  • QA checks done at routine maintenance service by equipment manufacturer, carried out at service intervals detailed by the manufacturer
  • routine monthly tests using a standard test object carried out locally by the senior sonographer and results reported to the screening office


  • questionnaires sent periodically to a sample of randomly selected service users (doctors, practice managers/staff, patients, vascular surgeons) to ask whether any problems arose as a result or in connection with the screening programme
  • enquire about any procedural changes that could improve the delivery of the screening programme
  • monitor time from referral to outpatient consultation
  • referral to vascular unit
  • monitor time from referral to surgery {2}
Saluse J et al. Result Card ORG15 In: Saluse J et al. Organisational aspects In: Jefferson T, Vicari N, Frønsdal K [eds.]. Abdominal Aorta Aneurysm Screening [Core HTA], Agenzia nationale per i servizi sanitari regionali (, Italy; 2013. [cited 28 May 2023]. Available from: