NEI Inc. of St. Louis

14825 North Outer 40, Suite 330
Chesterfield, MO 63017

AANEM Accredited Laboratory Exemplary Status

Why have your test performed by
certified physician at an accredited lab?

Does it really matter where I have my nerve test done?

Electrical diagnostic studies play a very important role in diagnosing nerve and muscle disorders. The most important step in medical care is making the correct diagnosis because all treatments, including surgeries, are based upon the diagnosis. If the wrong diagnosis is made, you may not receive the treatment you need, or you may receive a treatment or surgery that you do not need.

Neurology is the specialty of medicine with specific training in the diagnosis of nerve and muscle conditions. This includes the taking of a neurological history and performance of a neurological physical examination. Electrodiagnostic studies are an extension of the neurological examination.

Board Certification in Neurology is a sign of competence in general Neurology, but it does not guarantee expertise in performing electrodiagnostic studies. Many Neurology training programs don’t include formal training in electrodiagnostic medicine; this requires additional specialized education and training. There are three board certifications which test for competence in electrodiagnostic medicine. Two of these, the Boards of Neuromuscular Medicine and Clinical Neurophysiology, also test areas other than electrodiagnostic medicine. Only the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine strictly evaluates and certifies in electrodiagnostic medicine. Therefore, we suggest that you ask if the person performing your studies is a board certified physician with additional training and certification, ideally by the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine.

You should know that the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine believes that non-physician providers, including physical therapists, chiropractors, physician’s assistants and others do not have the appropriate training and knowledge to optimally perform and interpret EMG or nerve conduction studies.

Tests performed on mobile or hand held devices (usually by a doctor’s assistant or even sometimes by the doctor’s clerical office staff) and interpreted by a distant automated machine or a doctor who never sees you are specifically not recommended by the AANEM.

It may be natural to assume that all laboratories - radiology, blood labs, and nerve test labs - have had the quality of their services reviewed by a supervising body and have been given a certification or “seal of approval". However, until very recently there was no accreditation process for electrodiagnostic laboratories. Thus, many providers with little or no specialized education and training have been able to offer and perform these tests. For the last 5 years the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine has worked very hard to address this deficiency by establishing a laboratory accreditation process to ensure that patients receive quality medical care in a safe environment.  NEI is the first accredited laboratory in the state of Missouri, and received an additional designation of Exemplary Status. There are currently few accredited Electrodiagnostic labs in the country, but over the coming years more labs will become accredited.

Many primary care physicians and surgeons are unaware of both specialty board certification for electrodiagnostic medicine and the new accreditation process for Electrodiagnostic labs. We would recommend that you ask to have your nerve test personally performed and interpreted by a physician certified by the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. And ask for a laboratory accredited by the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Yes, it really does matter where you have your test performed.