Impact of point-of-care ultrasound on quality of care in clinical practice
Srikar Adhikari,1 Richard Amini,1 Lori A Stolz,1 Michael Blaivas2
1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Arizona Medical Center, Tucson, AZ, 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC, USA
Abstract: The use of point-of-care (POC) ultrasonography has rapidly expanded in recent years, in both academic and community settings. It is one of the few diagnostic modalities that can be performed rapidly at the bedside by a physician and has significant impact on patient outcomes. It is portable, readily accessible, and cost-effective, and has no risk of ionizing radiation. There is an abundance of evidence that supports the use of POC ultrasound by physicians in different subspecialties. Multiple studies have documented the diagnostic accuracy of POC ultrasound and its ability to decrease the time to definitive treatment. As ultrasound technology has advanced, POC ultrasound applications have also evolved from being used solely in patients with blunt abdominal trauma to applications for nearly every clinical scenario imaginable. From performing procedures more safely to diagnosing pathology more quickly, POC ultrasound is radically changing clinical practice, patient outcomes, and the overall quality of patient care a clinician can provide. Recently, there has been a paradigm shift involving a symptom-based approach to POC ultrasound. This unique symptom-based ultrasound approach has led to improved quality of care in a variety of clinical settings.
Keywords: point-of-care ultrasound, ultrasonography, bedside ultrasound, emergency physician, emergency department, quality, symptom-based
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