Udrea D, Sumnicht A, Lo D, et al. Effects of student-performed point-of-care ultrasound on physician diagnosis and management of patients in the emergency department. Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine Vol. 53, No. 1, pp 102-109, 2017.
Despite the increasing integration of ultrasound training into medical education, there is an inadequate body of research demonstrating the benefits and practicality of medical student–performed point-of-care ultrasound (SP-POCUS) in the clinical setting.
The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects that SP-POCUS can have on physician diagnosis and management of patients in the emergency department, with a secondary purpose of evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of SP-POCUS.
SP-POCUS examinations were performed in the emergency department by medical students who completed year one of a 4-year medical school curriculum with integrated ultrasound training. Scans were evaluated by an emergency physician who then completed a survey to record any changes in diagnosis and management.
A total of 641 scans were performed on the 482 patients enrolled in this study. SP-POCUS resulted in a change in management in 17.3% of scans performed. For 12.4% of scans, SP-POCUS discovered a new diagnosis. SP-POCUS reduced time to disposition 33.5% of the time. Because of SP-POCUS, physicians avoided ordering an additional imaging study for 53.0% of the scans performed. There was 94.7% physician agreement with SP-POCUS diagnosis.
This study showed that SP-POCUS is feasible and may potentially have a meaningful impact on physician diagnosis and management of patients in the emergency department. In addition, the implementation of SP-POCUS could serve as an ideal method of developing ultrasound skills in medical school while positively impacting patient care.
To read the article, visit the Journal of Emergency Medicine website.
SonoSim Keywords: Ultrasound Education, Ultrasound Training, Emergency Medicine