The pediatric appropriate use criteria (AUC) were applied to transthoracic echocardiograms (TTE) ordered by primary care providers (PCPs) and pediatric cardiologists for the diagnosis of syncope to compare appropriateness ratings and cost-effectiveness. Included were patients ≤18 years of age from October 2016 to October 2018 with syncope who underwent initial outpatient pediatric TTE ordered by a PCP or were seen in Pediatric Cardiology clinic. Ordering rate of TTE by pediatric cardiologists, AUC classification, and TTE findings were obtained. PCPs ordered significantly more TTEs than pediatric cardiologists for “rarely appropriate” indications (61.5% vs 7.5%, P <.001). Cardiologists ordered TTEs at 17.2% of visits. Using appropriateness as a marker of effect, with the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, it was more cost-effective ($543.33 per patient) to refer to a pediatric cardiologist than to order the TTE alone. This suggests that improved PCP education of the AUC and appropriate indications of TTEs for syncope may improve cost-effectiveness when using order appropriateness as a marker of effectiveness.
- pediatric cardiology
- pediatric echocardiography
- resource utilization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health