The Value of Point of Care Ultrasound
The foundation of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) is a continuous personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care that looks at the whole person. PM&R clinicians take a personalized approach to healthcare. Their holistic view allows them the ability to provide patient focused healthcare services, treat all genders and age groups, and build long-term patient relationships.
Outside of an incredible knowledge of anatomy, required to practice, why wouldn’t a PM&R specialist want to become proficient with point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS)?
POCUS empowers PM&R specialist by providing more diagnostic information, as well as increasing precision in clinical procedures. For example, POCUS is used to guide toxin injections, to manage spasticity. It enables the physician to locate and follow the needle’s way through the tissue via the screen. In turn, it is increasing accuracy and supporting diagnostics. Ultrasound protocols can support expediting and pinpointing a precise treatment plan for patients.
The portability and size that comes with handheld ultrasound devices supports a level of convenience, relegating the device as convenient and common as a stethoscope. Being able to carry out procedures where rolling carts and cables are replaced by something about the size of an electric shaver.
Why the Hesitation?
If POCUS provides so much value, why the hesitation?
- This can be due to intimidation of the technology.
- There is concern that POCUS is difficult to learn and integrate into one’s practice
- That this will only add to the burden that physicians already feel.
- Point-of-care ultrasound is a highly user-dependent imaging modality compared to radiography, CT, and MRI.
- Artifacts abound as well as both false positive and false negative findings.
Continuing Education to the Rescue!
However, there are hosts of accreditation programs by credible societies, such as programs put on during the AAPM&R meetings. This does help standardize and improve the quality of general diagnostic ultrasound imaging and interpretation. The programs offered, assist in obtaining the skills, knowledge base, and expertise required to excel at being a POCUS user.
Intronix has been supporting PM&R for over a decade, with injection guidance technology devices. Our latest adventure has been developing a worthy POCUS device to call our own. We hope to be in a position to launch our Myoguide ULTRA device within the first quarter of 2023. Our goal is to incorporate features that are dedicated to support PM&R specialists’ needs first, without complicating the device with generalized features.
We are grateful to all of our friends and supporters in PM&R who have provided us with POCUS feedback, over the years. Stay Tuned!