Promoting patient safety and increasing health care quality have dominated the health care landscape during the last 15 years. Health care regulators and payers are now tying patient safety outcomes and best practices to hospital reimbursement. Many health care leaders are searching for new technologies that not only make health care for patients safer but also reduce overall health care costs. New advances in ultrasonography have made this technology available to health care providers at the patient’s bedside. Point-of-care ultrasound assistance now aids providers with real-time diagnosis and with visualization for procedural guidance. This is especially true for common deep needle procedures such as central venous catheter insertion, thoracentesis, and paracentesis.
There is now mounting evidence that clinician-performed point-of-care ultrasound improves patient safety, enhances health care quality, and reduces health care cost for deep needle procedures. Furthermore, the miniaturization, ease of use, and the evolving affordability of ultrasound have now made this technology widely available. The adoption of point-of-care ultrasonography has reached a tipping point and should be seriously considered the safety standard for all hospital-based deep needle procedures.