Don’t get tripped up by the new credentialing requirement for vascular ultrasound interpretations.
In the past, physicians interested in interpreting vascular ultrasound would obtain the same credentialing as a sonographer, the Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) credential. Today, there is a credential specifically for physicians, the Registered Physician Vascular Interpretation (RPVI) credential.
The ARDMS RPVI credential is the highest attainable standard in vascular sonography interpretation. It is awarded by The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography® (ARDMS®), an independent, nonprofit, organization that administers examinations and awards credentials in the areas of diagnostic sonography and is the recognized international standard in sonography credentialing.
“The Vascular Surgery Board of the American Board of Surgery (VSB-ABS) recognizes the importance of non-invasive vascular testing as a cornerstone of practice and patient care; the complete vascular specialist must be fully competent in interpreting a wide variety of such studies,” said Joseph Mills, MD, Chair of the VSB-ABS and Chief of vascular and endovascular surgery at the University of Arizona.
Because of the importance of appropriate use and interpretation, the VSB-ABS has made a specific credentialing change as of 2014. Physicians applying for the Vascular Surgery Qualifying Examination will be required to hold the RPVI credential. Dr. Mills states, “We unanimously voted to require RPVI credentialing as a prerequisite for vascular surgery certification. Our trainees, and the patients they serve, will be assured that our certified vascular surgeons posses a high-level of knowledge and competence in noninvasive testing and have been independently assessed and credentialed by the ARDMS, a highly-respected multidisciplinary organization involved in developing high standards of care in the noninvasive area.”
At this time, the credentialing mandate has only been placed on vascular surgery; however, due to expanding interest in vascular ultrasound from other specialists, this mandatory credentialing could be applied to any specialist involved in the interpretation of vascular ultrasound.
Even without the mandate, cardiologists, radiologist, nephrologists, and interventional physicians have become increasingly interested in training and education directly related to vascular ultrasound and how they can be more effective in the diagnostic process.