Point-of-care ultrasound refers to the practice of trained medical professionals using ultrasound to diagnose problems wherever a patient is being treated, whether that's in a modern hospital, an ambulance, or a remote village. PoCUS enables clinicians to treat patients faster, more accurately, and in a non-invasive way at the point of care, without relying on trips to the hospital or a radiologists office.
“Point-of-Care Ultrasound” is a broad term that encapsulates the many scenarios in which portable ultrasound machines can be used. For instance, a patient may be scanned using portable ultrasound while in an ambulance on the way to an emergency room. Or a patient may be scanned in the trauma bay after being delivered to the hospital emergency room. As such, “point-of-care ultrasound” indicates that portable ultrasound can be transported to wherever the patient is located.
About Rescue Inc.'s PoCUS Study
Our project consists of two stages:
- Physician directed program to educate our Paramedics in sonography on specific focused exam profiles, including:
- A twenty-four (24) month field demonstration period to allow for adequate technical skills development and for physician QA/QI of all scanned files and Paramedic field interpretations.
At the conclusion of the 24 month study, we anticipate the following results:
- Paramedics will be successfully trained to perform accurate limited PoCUS in the prehospital environment in a timely and efficient manner.
- The value of the technology will be effectively demonstrated by the enhancement in assessment capabilities and decisions regarding treatment.
- Efficacy of prohospital PoCUS will be shown through tracking patient outcomes.
What makes our study Unique?
A standard Google search brings up multiple PoCUS projects and implementations across the country. We believe our project is unique for a number of reasons:
- Being privately funded through grants from The Emergency Medical Services Fund, Inc.
- Being conducted in coordination with a number of medical facilities including two world class teaching hospitals:
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
- University of Vermont Medical Center
- Integral elements of our study include active physician oversight and an intense quality assurance process, in addition to intensive initial and ongoing education for all providers
- All field utilization of ultrasound will be reviewed by the medical director or designee on a monthly basis.
- Each study will be reviewed by ultrasound fellowship trained physicians within 24 hours
- Individual customized feedback will be given to the provider on each scan.
- To assure demonstration of proficiency; a verification of prehospital ultrasound education and competence shall be reviewed by the Vermont EMS District 13 medical advisor at any time requested.
- A QA/QI form will be completed by the accepting provider at the receiving facility to assess if the scan helped with patient assessment and potentially changed therapy.
- Patients will be tracked to determine whether outcomes have been improved due to prehospital ultrasound utilization and treatment/transport decisions.