Practice Management

  • 1.  Sonographer benchmarks

    Posted 12-07-2021 12:08
    Does anyone have a standard for the number of ultrasounds an MFM sonographer should do in an 8 hour shift? I am looking for any general guidance or more specific based on type of scan (follow-up, vs detailed anatomy)? Also wondering if anyone has seen a need to decrease this number in the last 10 years as we are seeing a significant increase in the BMI of our patients.

    Erika Peterson MD

  • 2.  RE: Sonographer benchmarks

    Posted 12-07-2021 12:23
    We aim for 8 per sonographer per day. We have a significant proportion of morbidly obese patients, 30-40%.

    Andrea Greiner

  • 3.  RE: Sonographer benchmarks

    Posted 12-07-2021 18:16
    the SMFM data from the benchmark study in 2011 is with BPP average 11.4 Median10.5 25th %is 9  75th % is 12.. Without BPP average is 9.84 median 9. 25th % 8  . 75th % is 11.. There has been another benchmark study that i believe will be coming out near the annual meeting. Best Dan

    Dan O'Keeffe, MD
    42530 N. 108th Street
    Scottsdale, AZ 85262

  • 4.  RE: Sonographer benchmarks

    Posted 12-07-2021 18:35
    There was a study put out a number of years ago which benchmarked 11.2 studies per 8 hour day including BPPs. 


    Pamela S Young, MSSL
    480-436-9179 cell

    Please ignore typos - email response sent via cell phone voice recognition

  • 5.  RE: Sonographer benchmarks

    Posted 12-08-2021 07:58
    Hi Erika,
    I am unsure there is a "standard" as would imagine depends on the mix of cases. The  SMFM publication "40 years of Leading Maternal & Fetal Care" by Dr. Anthony Sciscione refers to a 2010-11 survey and mentions an average of 11.4 scans per day (25th-75th = 9-12 scans per day). I agree with you that with a higher overall average BMI, and what seems to be an increase in cases who have an indication for a detailed anatomy survey (76811) rather than a standard survey (76805), the average number of scans performed per day should be lower, not only to obtain all the necessary images, but also to decrease the risk of sonographer wrist injury.
    The SMFM Practice Management Division will present benchmarking data from the newer survey from couple of years ago at a luncheon roundtable on February 4 at the upcoming 2022 SMFM Annual Meeting in Kissimmee, Florida, so please consider attending!

    Fadi BSAT, MD, FAIUM
    Past Chair, SMFM Coding Committee

  • 6.  RE: Sonographer benchmarks

    Posted 12-08-2021 08:21
    Depends on the level of experience and the practice model. When I was running the ultrasound division at Loma Linda, it was a teaching site and there were more inefficiencies, so we made a template of 10-12 per sonographer. We also created a template with a blend of scans, including for twins based on projections of patient volume.  The blocks were released by me or within 72 hours if left unfilled. It was a way to accommodate urgent add-ons and prevent employees injuries (with staggered breaks for the sonographers... especially after difficult examinations).

    Regarding extra time for obese women, I decided the juice wasn't worth the squeeze. We scheduled them at 22 weeks, focused on the most important things and didn't hurt ourselves trying to see things that we weren't going to acquire the first time around. We saw them more often anyways and we had a few techs who would take more time and complete the study and if they ran over we just had some wiggle room in the schedule to get caught back up. 

    Hope this helps, 

  • 7.  RE: Sonographer benchmarks

    Posted 12-08-2021 17:52
    This is the data from the SMFM for the chapter I wrote in the book by Sciscione but is also up on the SMFM website

    I would state that although BMI is greater, machines are much better and that production should not have gone down.  Dr. Tom Lee is putting together the latest data that will be offered thru the SMFM and is newer.

    Brian Iriye