Improved Screening Reduces Transesophageal Study Cancellations at a Large Tertiary Israeli Medical Center

Hagit Hemi, Olga Morelli, Mordehay Vaturi, Ran Kornowski, Alexander Sagie, Yaron Shapira, Shmuel Schwartzenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cancellation of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) tests leads to inefficient use of echocardiography laboratory (echo lab) time and wastes resources. Objectives: To identify the causes of same-day TEE cancellations in hospitalized patients, to formulate a TEE order screening protocol, and to evaluate its efficacy at implementation. Methods: We performed a prospective analysis of inpatients referred to a single tertiary hospital echo lab for TEE study by inpatient wards. A comprehensive screening protocol emphasizing active participation of all links directly involved in the chain of inpatient TEE referral was developed and implemented. Comparison of pre- and post-implementation of the new screening protocol on two consecutive periods of 6 months on TEE cancellation rates out of total ordered TEEs stratified by cause categories was performed. Results: In total, 304 inpatient TEE procedures were ordered during the initial observation period; 54(17.8%) were canceled on the same day. The most common cancellation reasons were equally respiratory distress and patient not in fasted state (20.4% of total cancellations and 3.6% of all scheduled TEEs for each cause). Following implementation of the new screening process, total TEEs ordered (192) and cancelled (16) dropped significantly. A decrease in the rate of each cancellation category was observed, with statistical significance achieved for the overall cancellation rate (8.3% vs. 17.8%, P= 0.003), but not for the individual cancellation categories in split analysis. Conclusions: A concerted effort to implement a comprehensive screening questionnaire significantly reduced same-day cancellations of scheduled TEEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-327
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • clinical efficiency
  • procedure cancellations
  • quality of care
  • transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)


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