Take a moment and imagine a world where there were no checks and balances. Would you be willing to get on a plane that was inspected by the same team that built it, eat at a public restaurant with a safety rating from the owner, or undergo a medical procedure by someone who was a self-proclaimed surgeon? Independent external validation is the system of checks and balances that allows us to confidently move through everyday life.

External validation and regulation comprise the standards for most professions today. When an industry lacks these standards, problems can arise.

Medscape Medical News created a list of the top 10 HealthTech Hazards for 2020, and point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) ranked at number two for this very reason. The use of POCUS is increasing at a rate that exceeds the development and implementation of independent objective standards. The article recommends the implementation of policies and procedures to be used to establish standards in the training and credentialing of ultrasound users.

We couldn’t agree more. Independent external validation is essential to assure provider proficiency and enhance patient safety. Certification bodies like the Point-of-Care Ultrasound Certification Academy™ (POCUS Certification Academy™) carry the responsibility of addressing patient safety in clinical POCUS environments. The POCUS Certification Academy assures healthcare providers using POCUS meet clinical proficiency standards through established assessment and testing protocols.

One of the ways the POCUS Certification Academy is creating checks and balances is by measuring POCUS proficiency through psychometrically validated assessments. Additionally, we are facilitating the development of global POCUS core practice domains through our POCUS25 list. POCUS25 is a scientifically developed, globally crowd-sourced list of the top 25 point-of-care ultrasound procedures and protocols used globally. The POCUS25 will be used by clinicians around the world to demonstrate a high-level of proficiency to reduce clinical hazards and ensure patient safety.

Furthermore, committing ourselves to this mission and serving healthcare professionals who use POCUS affirms our dedication to providing the highest level of patient safety. Medicine is evolving around the world, especially with clinical tools such as POCUS, and our hope for all our peers is to utilize the checks and balances that drive us safely into the future.

To learn more about how you can help contribute to creating checks and balances for our profession and users of POCUS, review the POCUS25 list and share your experience and knowledge for the betterment of us all!

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