Leveling the POCUS Playing Field
We can all relate to the thrill of purchasing the newest technology on the market. Whether it be a new TV, the latest smartphone or a vehicle upgrade, each purchase is always equipped with an instruction manual. Within, we find directions on how to utilize the device to ensure ease, safety, and enjoyability.
Consider point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) as the latest advancement for medical practitioners everywhere. Deemed the “stethoscope of the future,” this exciting development is enhancing patient physical examinations across the globe. As already high patient volume increases, this tool is easing the load for practitioners.
Instead of having to wait on ultrasound orders and separate appointments, POCUS is speeding up the diagnosis process, heightening the patient care experience. However, is it really enough to just read the instruction manual that accompanies a handheld ultrasound device to say you are a qualified user?
The Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Certification Academy™ and the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) would agree it is not. CAR is an organization dedicated to medical imaging excellence in patient care. As the popularity of POCUS increases, the need for standardized technical training and instruction is significant. In their recently published article entitled “Canadian Association of Radiologists Position Statement on Point-of-Care Ultrasound,”
CAR supports the POCUS Certification Academy in its mission for continued education in point-of-care ultrasound.
CAR acknowledges that the perks that come along with incorporating this mini device into medical practice are something to be celebrated. POCUS delivers answers to a focused clinical issue—expediting the diagnosis process. This benefit is especially ground breaking for remote communities that have limited access to medical resources. Around the globe, POCUS is changing the outcome of fatal situations, which is an amazing feat for such a mini treasure. As long as POCUS is used by qualified physicians, the timeliness and certainty for diagnosis are improved.
While noting the benefits of this portable device, CAR makes practitioners aware of the complexities behind it. High-quality POCUS practice is something that is dependent upon the operator’s skill level and expertise. They state, “…examinations conducted by a non-imager must be held to the same rigorous quality standards as those conducted by an imager. Anything below that metric has the potential to incur patient harm.”
This truth supports our mission to create uniform educational standards for all that want to incorporate POCUS into their practice. Our organization knows for this device to be used to its fullest potential, all users should possess the quality expertise and in-depth knowledge of best practices for use.
CAR goes on to cite a survey revealing that 76% of [medical] residents and 52% of faculty had employed POCUS into their practice. At the same rate, 95% of residents and 64% of faculty had not engaged in any training or received informal training surrounding POCUS. These research findings point to the very reason why the POCUS Certification Academy exists.
We are here to ensure physicians are trained and educated to the highest standards of proficiency available. We want to change these statistics to ensure that all patients are receiving the best treatment possible. To do so, the medical community must commit to continuing their education on this incredible new technology that is saving lives.
As with all new advances in technology, POCUS users must understand the detailed ins and outs of this critical device. The POCUS Certification Academy provides the medical industry access to the proper educational foundation. It’s not enough to order this new technology, read the instruction manual, and get your colleague’s advice on best use and practices. This device deserves your undivided attention to reach its fullest potential.
Just as with any new medical discovery, POCUS has created a call for practitioners to take the time to get to know it in-depth. Join the POCUS Certification Academy in answering this call today!