Frequently Asked Questions

OVERVIEW

Version Descriptions

Subscriptions

Software Demonstrations

FUNCTIONALITY

 Administration

Case Studies

Review of Case Results

Creation

ASE GOLD STAR RATING / SURVEY REPORTS / ACCREDITATION / CME

ASE Gold Star Rating

Survey Reports

Lab Accreditation

CME Credits

INSTALLATION / TRAINING

Set-up and Installation

Training

 

OVERVIEW

 VERSION DESCRIPTIONS

 What features are included with the Individual Version?

The Individual Version offers access to user mode.  It is a single-user version.  The primary features and benefits or user mode include:

  • Ability for practicing sonographers and physicians to enhance their skills in the measurement and interpretation of cardiac ultrasound images (echocardiograms)
  • A hands-on, real-world training experience without being tied to an imaging device
  • The ability to immediately see how users’ case results compare to those of the case creator.
  • Access to the case creator’s teaching points
  • Practice cases as described below under “Case Studies.”
  • Review cases as described below under “Case Studies.”
  • Cloud-based access so that users can access the software anytime and anywhere

 

What features are included with the Standard Version?

The Standard Version is intended for labs, practices and teaching programs and it offers access to user mode and administrator mode.  In addition to all of the features and benefits as outlined above for the Individual Version, the Standard Version offers the following additional capabilities:

  • For labs and practices:
  • Ability to enhance the skills of sonographers and physicians in the measurement and interpretation of cardiac ultrasound images (echocardiograms)
  • Ability to support quality improvement standards, including variability and correlation between different modalities in the measurement and interpretation of cardiac ultrasound images
  • Ability to support the fulfillment of accreditation requirements
  • Ability to participate in the ASE “Gold Star” program and Survey Reports program
  • For teaching programs:
  • Ability to test and teach students in anatomy, measurement and interpretation of cardiac ultrasound images (echocardiograms)
  • Ability to assign selected case studies to students
  • For all:
  • Facilitate and enhance patient care
  • Ability to analyze case results, either individually or collectively, through automated reports
  • Ability to print reports and export user results to spreadsheets
  • Facilitate group review sessions
  • Ability to assign specific privileges to authorized users

 

What features are included with the Professional Version?

The Professional Version is intended for labs, practices and teaching programs and it represents the full-feature version offering access to user mode, administrator mode and case creator mode. In addition to all of the features and benefits as outlined above for the Standard Version, the Professional Version offers the following additional feature:

  • Ability for designated users to create new case studies to add to the application.  Such new cases are in addition to the ASE-created cases that are included with the application.  This feature has been designed for institutions having unique methods of reviewing cardiac ultrasound images or that otherwise desire specific case types and complexities.  Instructors can create case studies corresponding to selected areas of their curriculum.

 

How long does it generally take to create a new case?

The process of compiling the components of a new case study using case creation mode is straightforward.  ASE Echo Test and Teach includes detailed online help to describe every step of the process.  Once a case creator understands the basics, cases can be created within minutes.

 

Are there any general guidelines for creating new cases studies?

Although case creator mode has been designed to allow for the creation of case studies at most any level of complexity, it is best to keep things simple.  Everyone has a busy schedule, so the desired outcomes quality improvement and enhanced patient care will be more readily achieved by adhering to the following general guidelines when creating new cases:

  • ASE Echo Test and Teach case studies are not intended to be complete echocardiographic studies
  • A case should have less than 20 total images
  • A case should have no more than 10 measurements
  • The time it takes for a user to complete a case and submit results should be no more than a few minutes
  • Images should be of good quality unless assessing a lesser quality image is the purpose of the case
  • Single cardiac cycle 2D cine loop images are preferred unless many cardiac cycles are required
  • If the case is for routine quality assurance and reproducibility, the case should represent a common condition
  • Interesting or uncommon cases are useful for “match the master” type cases when the case is intended to be challenging

 

What video and still image types are supported by ASE Echo Test and Teach?

ASE Echo Test and Teach supports the following video types:

  • MPEG
  • AVI

ASE Echo Test and Teach supports the following still image types:

  • BMP
  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • TIFF

 

SUBSCRIPTIONS

 If a hospital institution has multiple physical locations that are under common ownership, does the cost of the enterprise subscription license cover all physical locations?

An enterprise subscription license would cover all physical locations that are under common ownership.  However, ASE Echo Test and Teach would include a single list of users from the collective physical locations, and the summary reports would include case results from the collective users.  As such, if any given physical location is seeking to limit the list of users to users at that location, which would effectively limit the summary reports to case results from users who work at that location, a dedicated subscription license would be required for that physical location.

 

SOFTWARE DEMONSTRATIONS

Is it possible to schedule a free demo of the Professional Version?

Yes, to schedule a free demo of this full-feature version of ASE Echo Test and Teach which includes user mode, administrator mode and case creator mode, simply contact Ke Labs at sales@kelabs.com or (317) 824-1225, ext. 14.

 

Is it possible to access a free demo version of the Individual Version?

Yes, you can access a “public demo” of ASE Echo Test and Teach (Individual Version).  As per the above description of this version, this public demo offers access to user mode, and it includes just a few selected cases.  The purpose of this public demo is to allow you to experience how the application works in user mode by running the selected cases and reviewing your case results.  Here is a link to the instructions on how to access the Echo Test and Teach (Public Workgroup)

 

FUNCTIONALITY

 ADMINISTRATION

 What is the role of the administrator?

An important aspect of implementation is to designate an administrator, such as a Lab Supervisor, Director or Instructor to supervise the program.  The time allocation to administer ASE Echo Test and Teach is relatively minimal.  The administrator’s role includes:

  • Inviting users to join the ASE Echo Test and Teach Workgroup. Provide software download and access instructions to designated users.
  • Selecting new case studies for assignment to users / students. Features allow administrators to view the list of available case studies and to add selected case studies to the cases tree for assignment to users / students.
  • Establishing user schedules. Establish a schedule for user sessions, including the dates by which users must complete the cases for each session.
  • Monitoring user participation. Monitor user participation for each session and sending reminders as deadlines approach.
  • Setting user permissions. The administrator has the ability to set each of the following permissions for each individual user:
  • View User results
  • Create case studies
  • Upload case studies
  • Modify user results
  • Modify terms library
  • Modify permissions

 

CASE STUDIES

 What types of case studies are included with ASE Echo Test and Teach?

ASE Echo Test and Teach includes a wide range of case study types and complexities.  These cases cover transthoracic echocardiography (2D, Doppler, M-Mode), pediatric echocardiography and transesophageal echocardiography.  Subject matter includes:

  • Measurement cases (e.g., left ventricle, left atrium, right ventricle, aorta and many others)
  • Interpretation cases (e.g., stress, cardiomyopathy, valvular heart disease, 3D, contrast, strain, CHD and many others)
  • Anatomy cases (e.g., parasternal long axis, short axis, apical three chamber, apical four chamber, apical five chamber, subcostal, mitral / aortic / tricuspid annulus, right ventricular outflow, pulsed wave Doppler, tissue Doppler, M-Mode and many others)

 

What case studies are accessible to users when ASE Echo Test and Teach is installed?

Upon installation, users of the Individual License, Institution License and Education License have access to a number of practice cases created by ASE member experts.  These case studies are immediately available for users to practice measurements and interpretations, understand anatomy and to generally benefit from the case creators’ teaching points.

 For the Individual License, how do users access additional case studies after ASE Echo Test and Teach is installed?

  • Quarterly Review Cases. For the Individual License, review cases are added on a quarterly basis. These cases will be identified by quarter and year (e.g., Q1 2016).

For the Institution and Education Licenses, how do users access additional case studies after ASE Echo Test and Teach is installed?

  • Quarterly Review Cases. For the Institution License and Individual License, review cases are added on a quarterly basis. These cases will be identified by quarter and year (e.g., Q1 2016).  At the beginning of each new quarter, the administrator for each institution can assign the required cases for review by the institution’s sonographers and physicians during that quarter.  The case results for these quarterly review cases can be used to support QI programs associated with lab accreditation, and they are also used for purposes of the Gold Star Lab Rating program and Survey Reports program.
  • New Cases Studies (General). New case studies covering multiple new case types and complexities are periodically added to the application, and they immediately become accessible by administrators for addition to the cases tree for assignment to users / students.

 

Is there an additional cost for new cases that are added to ASE Echo Test and Teach during the subscription period?

There is no additional cost for new case studies that are added to ASE Echo Test and Teach during the subscription period.

 

Do administrators have the ability to easily identify the details of available cases studies? 

Yes, ASE Echo Test and Teach includes a feature that allows administrators to easily identify the following details about available case studies, as applicable:

  • Number of images
  • Measurements
  • Interpretations
  • Questions

 

 Can administrators create and add new folders / categories to the cases tree?

Yes, there is a feature to allow administrators to create and add new folders / categories to the cases tree, and to give them any name.

 

 When the administrator selects a case study from the administrator view and adds it to the cases tree, is the selected case study removed from the administrator view?

No, the list of case studies in administrator view will remain unchanged.  Therefore, if a case study is removed from the cases tree, it will always remain available in the administrator view to add back to the cases tree.

 

Can the administrator remove practice cases or review cases from the cases tree?

No, administrators can only remove cases that they have selected and added to the cases tree.

 

When the administrator removes a case study from the case tree, will the case results for that case study still be accessible?

The individual case results for removed cases will still be accessible in Administrator Mode.  However, summary reports for removed case will not be available.  To access the summary report for a removed case study, the administrator can simply add the removed case study back to the cases tree.

 

 REVIEW OF CASE RESULTS

 What options exist for the review of case results?

ASE Echo Test and Teach allows for the following review of case results:

  • Individual user review. Individual users will receive immediate feedback when completing their assigned cases. They will see how their results compare to those of the case creator as soon as they submit their measurements, interpretations and/or answers.  They will also learn from the creator’s teaching points.
  • Administrator review. ASE Echo Test and Teach includes multiple analytic tools to enable administrators to review all case results, individually and collectively. This would include accuracy and variability outlier data to: 1) identify users who might require additional training, 2) and to measure consistency which would identify the need for review of laboratory standards when performing measurements.   Institutions and teaching programs perhaps derive the greatest value from the teaching aspect of ASE Echo Test and Teach by reviewing the collective user results at regularly scheduled lab meetings or group classes.  All of the users are familiar with the cases since they have all completed them,. Users can learn how their results compare to those of their peers. Administrators and instructors can highlight teaching points and establish standards for consistency.  Such group review sessions can also serve to satisfy quality improvement program requirements pertaining to the lab accreditation process, and the use of ASE Echo Test and Teach has proven to be effective in terms of increased attendance for this purpose.

 

What features exist that allow administrators to analyze case results?

ASE Echo Test and Teach includes the following analytic tools:

  • Review of individual results. Administrators can review individual case results for both measurements and interpretations. The tools compare the user results to those of the creator, both quantitatively and visually.

2

Screenshot of a summary for an individual’s case results

 

3

Screenshot of a case view showing a side-by-side comparison of the creator’s measurement and an individual user

 

  • Review of collective results (measurement cases). The collective results for measurements cases can be compiled for all of the measurements in a case in an easy-to-digest format, including an average of the user measurements, classifications, and how many of the measurements deviate significantly from the creator’s measurement or the rest of the users. A full report can be generated for each measurement in a case.  The report includes basic statistics about the users as a group as well as for each individual.

4

Full report for case results of collective users for a specific measurement

5

Screenshot of a case view showing a side-by-side comparison of the creator’s measurement to those of the collective users

The user results can be filtered down to interesting subsets of data, including:

  • Different classifications. Includes any users whose measurement classifies differently than the creator’s measurement (i.e., normal vs. abnormal)
  • Accuracy outliers. Includes any users whose measurement is at least 20% away from the creator’s measurement.
  • Variability outliers. Includes any users whose measurement is at least one standard deviation from the user average.

6

Screenshot of Measurement Summary report for collective users for a specific measurement case

 

  • Review of collective results (interpretation cases). The collective results for interpretation cases can be compiled to provide a summary of the interpretation case.  It will identify what the creator specified as the correct interpretations.  A full report can be generated for each interpretation case.  The report identifies the outliers for each interpretation entered by the creator, and provides a list of the creator’s interpretations and the number of users who did not provide that interpretation or an alternative interpretation that was deemed close enough.  The users who are deemed outliers for any given interpretation can be identified.

7

Screenshot of interpretations summary showing individual responses

8

Screenshot of interpretations summary showing outliers for a specific interpretation

  • Workbench – Data Analytics Package. ASE Echo Test and Teach gives administrators access to a comprehensive data analytics package at no additional cost.  Data from collective case results can be imported to the data analytics “Workbench” which provides access to a full suite of data analytics and discovery tools, including data visualization tools.

9
Screenshot of Analytic Workbench showing histogram for relative frequency for a sample measurement

 

Is it possible to print case result summaries?

Yes, ASE Echo Test and Teach includes a print feature to allow an administrator to print any given summary report for internal use and/or to support requirements for selected accreditation areas.

 

Is it possible to export case results to a spreadsheet?

Yes, ASE Echo Test and Teach includes a feature to allow for the export of case results to a spreadsheet.

 

CASE CREATION

 How long does it generally take to create a new case?

The process of compiling the components of a new case study using case creation mode is straightforward.  ASE Echo Test and Teach includes detailed online help to describe every step of the process.  Once a case creator understands the basics, cases can be created within minutes.

 

Are there any general guidelines for creating new cases studies?

Although case creator mode has been designed to allow for the creation of case studies at most any level of complexity, it is best to keep things simple.  Everyone has a busy schedule, so the desired outcomes quality improvement and enhanced patient care will be more readily achieved by adhering to the following general guidelines when creating new cases:

  • ASE Echo Test and Teach case studies are not intended to be complete echocardiographic studies
  • A case should have less than 20 total images
  • A case should have no more than 10 measurements
  • The time it takes for a user to complete a case and submit results should be no more than a few minutes
  • Images should be of good quality unless assessing a lesser quality image is the purpose of the case
  • Single cardiac cycle 2D cine loop images are preferred unless many cardiac cycles are required
  • If the case is for routine quality assurance and reproducibility, the case should represent a common condition
  • Interesting or uncommon cases are useful for “match the master” type cases when the case is intended to be challenging

 

What video and still image types are supported by ASE Echo Test and Teach?

ASE Echo Test and Teach supports the following video types:

  • MPEG
  • AVI

ASE Echo Test and Teach supports the following still image types:

  • BMP
  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • TIFF

 

ASE GOLD STAR RATING / SURVEY REPORTS/ ACCREDITATION / CME

ASE “GOLD STAR” LAB RATING

 What is the ASE Gold Star Lab Rating and how is it administered?

The ASE Gold Star Lab Rating is a society-level designation that serves to acknowledge that an institution is committed to quality by achieving certain benchmarks in the pursuit of quality.  Reasonable benchmarks to be communicated by ASE will be designed to support consistency and improvement within the lab (e.g., certain required levels of participation, certain number of cases submitted, number of outliers, variability among users, etc.).  Any institution has the option to “opt in” to this program.  Before an institution can become eligible for the Gold Star Lab Rating, it must be actively administering the quarterly review case for four (4) consecutive calendar quarters.  After the end of each quarter, participating labs will send their de-identified results to ASE’s central repository.  ASE Echo Test and Teach will include features to make submissions quick and easy.  ASE will use the submitted results for purposes of designation and/or re-designation of the institution as having met the established benchmarks.

 For hospital institutions having multiple physical locations under common ownership, is it possible for individual locations to qualify for the Gold Star Lab Rating?

For enterprise subscriptions that cover all physical locations under common ownership, the ASE Gold Star Lab Rating designation would apply to the overall entity.  If any given physical location is seeking a Gold Star Lab Rating that is specific to its location, that location would require a dedicated subscription of ASE Echo Test and Teach.

 

 SURVEY REPORTS

 What are survey reports and how do they work?

ASE will review the collective results from participating institutions and generate a survey report that compares, on an anonymous basis, selected metrics of participating institutions.  Each institution will receive a copy of this survey report so that it can see how its results compare to those of its peers.  The survey report will serve as a valuable source of organizational-level information to identify areas that might require additional training, and to measure consistency which would identify the need for review of laboratory standards when performing measurements.

 

For hospital institutions having multiple physical locations under common ownership, is it possible for individual locations to receive a Survey Report that is specific to its location?

For enterprise subscriptions that cover all physical locations under common ownership, the Survey Report would apply to the overall entity.  If any given physical location is seeking a Survey Report that is specific to its location, that location would require a dedicated subscription of ASE Echo Test and Teach.

 

LAB ACCREDITATION

 Can ASE Echo Test and Teach be used to support lab accreditation requirements?

Since a primary focus is quality improvement, ASE Echo Test and Teach is well-suited to support fulfillment of requirements for selected accreditation areas.  The built-in mechanism for administering ongoing review cases directly supports an institution’s quality improvement program, and standard features enable administrators to generate automated reports of case results and to print them for submission to applicable accreditation bodies.

 

CME CREDITS

 Does ASE Echo Test and Teach qualify for CME credits?

All users (physicians and sonographers) can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ on a quarterly basis at no additional cost and based upon subject matter that is directly relevant to their field and areas of practice.

  •  Institution License. ASE has designated this activity for a maximum of 2.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per quarter (10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per year).  CME credits are based upon satisfactory completion of the quarterly review cases as well as attendance at group review meetings.
  • Education License. ASE has designated this activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per quarter (6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per year).  CME credits are based upon satisfactory completion of the quarterly review cases and apply to instructors only.
  • Individual License. ASE has designated this activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per quarter (6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per year).  CME credits are based upon satisfactory completion of the quarterly review cases.

To meet the criteria for case completion, users can repeat the cases any number of times.  Users can view their progress, including the number of cases completed, credit hours and review meeting attendance.  Administrators can track progress of all users via a “progress tracker” feature.  The application has features to allow administrators to document review meetings and attendance.  Furthermore, users can print CME certificates directly from the application.

 

SET-UP AND INSTALLATION / TRAINING

SET-UP AND INSTALLATION

 After placing an order, how quickly can ASE Echo Test and Teach be available for use by designated users?

For standard installation, designated users are generally able to access ASE Echo Test and Teach within 1-2 business days from the time that an order is received.

 

What is the standard installation process?

To set up an institution, the only information that Ke Labs requires is the name of the institution and the name of person who will serve as the ASE Echo Test and Teach administrator.  The standard installation involves hosting ASE Echo Test and Teach at a Ke Labs-provided cloud-based data center.  Once the server is set-up, Ke Labs will set organizational-level permissions, and thereafter designated users will download the software to their client workstations and/or laptop computers and join the institution’s ASE Echo Test and Teach Workgroup.  Ke Labs will provide download and access instructions for circulation to the designated users by the institution’s administrator.

 

Are there any additional fees for standard cloud-based hosting?

The pricing for the Standard Version includes one virtual server at the Ke Labs-provided cloud-based data center and 1 GB of allocated disk space.  Regardless of the number of users, an institution should not require more than 1 GB of disk space for the Standard Version.  If an institution elects to purchase the optional add-on “Case Creator Mode,” it includes 1 additional GB of disk space.  It is not foreseeable that an institution will require more than the combined 2 GB of disk space for the Standard Version and add-on “Case Creator Mode.”  If an institution creates an extremely large number of cases and exceeds its allocated amount of disk space, Ke Labs will directly invoice institutions for any additional fees.  Ke Labs will communicate with institutions in advance of assessing additional fees.

 

Can ASE Echo Test and Teach be hosted on institution-owned server hardware located at the institution?

Yes, there is an option for local hosting.  If an institution seeks to host ASE Echo Test and Teach on institution-owned server hardware located at its facility, such local hosting must be reviewed and approved by Ke Labs in advance.  Optional local hosting is a more time-intensive process, but Ke Labs makes every effort to work with the institution so that the software is available to designated users as quickly as feasible.  Once the server is set-up in the Institution’s local environment, designated users will download the software to their client workstations and/or laptop computers and join the institution’s ASE Echo Test and Teach Workgroup.  Ke Labs will provide download and access instructions for circulation to the designated users by the institution’s administrator.

 

Would there be additional costs for hosting ASE Echo Test and Teach on institution-owned server hardware?

Yes, there would be additional fees for this option.  Specifically, Ke Labs would assess professional fees for Ke Labs to perform the necessary work pertaining to such installation, including set-up of a VPN connection, configuration of client software and server software, testing and all other work that may be necessary to complete the installation.  Such professional services are based upon Ke Labs prevailing hourly rate and would be invoiced directly by Ke Labs.

 

What are the system requirements for client workstations and laptops to operate ASE Echo Test and Teach?

The below system requirements have been tested to ensure optimum software performance and data integrity.  It is recommended that client workstation and laptop components meet or exceed these requirements.  System requirements are subject to change for future releases.  NOTE: ASE Echo Test and Teach does not currently support Apple products and the iOS operating system.

Component Minimum Requirement Recommended
RAM 1 GB 2 GB
Hard Disk 200 MB free disk space 500 MB free disk space
Video Display 1280 x 720, 32 bit color 1280 x 1024
Processor At least 2 GHz
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 or newer
Internet Broadband internet connection, at least 1 Mbps download speed

 

TRAINING

 Do new users require training?

ASE Echo Test and Teach includes the following three modes:

  • User mode
  • Administrator mode
  • Case creator mode

Each of these modes is highly intuitive and the application has built-in features to guide users on how to use them.  If a user has questions, ASE Echo Test and Teach includes a robust online help system that describes all features and functions.

 

Are training sessions offered?

On a periodic basis, Ke Labs will offer complimentary online training sessions.  A webinar schedule will be communicated for such training sessions.  Furthermore, institutions have the option to request and schedule dedicated online (e.g., WebEx) training sessions at any point during the subscription period for an additional fee.  Ke Labs will schedule such dedicated training sessions directly with the customer, if requested, and will directly invoice customer for such professional services based upon its prevailing hourly rate.