Key Data Elements, Definitions For Transthoracic Echocardiography Released

A set of key data elements and standard definitions for transthoracic echocardiography were released by the ACC, American Heart Association and American Society of Echocardiography on June 24 and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

According to Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, chair of the writing committee, et. al., there are differing definitions of echocardiographic parameters “leading to misunderstanding and confusion.” Thus, the multisocietal effort to create this document “provides a critical platform for structured reporting for echocardiographic imaging.”

Of note, the data elements include left and right heart structures, left and right heart function, aorta, right heart hemodynamics and pulmonary artery, congenital heart disease, and heart valves.

“Each data element represents the smallest clinically meaningful unit of information,” explain the authors. They also tried to position the terms as “semantically interoperable common data elements,” while supporting linkage with national distributed research platforms, therefore facilitating “the uniform adoption by the clinical, regulatory, quality and health information technology communities.”

According to Biykem Bozkurt, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC/AHA Task Force on Clinical Data Standards, “Broad agreement on a common vocabulary with reliable definitions used by all is vital to pool and/or compare data across clinical trials to promote interoperability with electronic health records and to assess the applicability of research to clinical practice.”


Clinical Topics: Noninvasive Imaging, Echocardiography/Ultrasound

Keywords: Pulmonary Artery, Echocardiography, Medical Informatics, Electronic Health Records, Heart Valves, Hemodynamics, Heart Diseases, Aorta


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