History taking, physical exam and labs have been the cornerstone of medicine for the last century. It has worked well but is not perfect. A groundbreaking new paradigm shift can increase your accuracy, speed, documentation, patient safety and satisfaction all in one step – Point-of-Care ultrasound (POCUS).
POCUS is the latest technology to assist NPs and PAs in their mission to care for patients. Imagine being able to quickly look inside the patient’s body and identifying conditions that you would have otherwise missed. If your physical exam is positive for a condition, POCUS may be able to add additional support to or refute your diagnosis.
POCUS is not comprehensive ultrasound imaging but rather a screening tool to give the practitioner better insight as to what is going on beneath the surface. To quote a line in a recent article in the NEJM, “Stop listening and Look!” In this article published in March of 2014, the author is encouraging physicians to learn and utilize POCUS in all aspects of medicine. The training is minimal compared to the immense benefits to the mid-level and the patient.
Are you still struggling to find a spleen? Are you scratching out a liver border but it’s still not clear as to the size? Are you feeling for the PMI shift and EKG changes that might indicate LVH? Good! but you could easily back these exams with a quick look and fast measurements that are accurate down to millimeter gradations.
Assess and track LVH, Hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, gallbladder disease, differentiate COPD exacerbations from CHF. Easily identify pleural effusions, cardiac effusions and hydronephrosis. Skin conditions such as foreign bodies, infections, abscesses and gas producing infections can usually be identified. Dehydration and small bowel obstructions have characteristics that are often easy to identify. This is just a small list of the ways POCUS can help you to help patients.
It’s time to become a modern and more competent practitioner. Feel free to contact us for more information.