Collaborative model for training and credentialing point-of-care ultrasound: 6-year experience and quality outcomes

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Abstract

Introduction

Point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) is a rapidly growing area, providing physicians with a valuable diagnostic tool for patient assessment. This paper describes a collaborative model, utilising radiology department ultrasound expertise, to train and credential physicians in PoCUS. A 6-year experience of the implementation and outcomes of the programme established within the emergency departments of a large, multi-campus hospital network are presented.

Methods

A collaborative model was initially developed and implemented between radiology and emergency departments. Key elements of the programme included hospital executive support, close collaboration with stakeholders, resource allocation, appointment of a sonographer educator, clear scope of practise and robust quality processes.

Results

Participation grew from 36 emergency physicians in 2011 to 96 physicians in 2016. A total 11064 scans were logged with the programme in the 6-year period. Routine quality audit of 61.8% (6836/11064) of all scans included 2836 Focussed Assessment by Sonography in Trauma (FAST) and 1422 Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) examinations. False-positive or false-negative diagnoses occurred in 3.6% (102/2836) FAST and 1.3% (19/1422) AAA cases. No adverse clinical outcomes were reported to involve programme-compliant scans.

Conclusion

A collaborative model to train and credential physicians in PoCUS has been successfully implemented. The programme grew significantly, produced excellent quality outcomes and resolved many issues of potential conflict related to PoCUS.

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