The long-term effect of short point of care ultrasound course on physicians’ daily practice

Ortal Tuvali, Re'em Sadeh, Sergio Kobal, Shaked Yarza, Yael Golan, Lior Fuchs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background The benefits of Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) are well established in the literature. As it is an operator-dependent modality, the operator is required to be skilled in obtaining and interpreting images. Physicians who are not trained in POCUS attend courses to acquire the basics in this field. The effectiveness of such short POCUS courses on daily POCUS utilization is unknown. We sought to measure the change in POCUS utilization after practicing physicians attended short POCUS courses. Methods A 13-statements questionnaire was sent to physicians who attended POCUS courses conducted at the Soroka University Medical Center between the years 2014–2018. Our primary objective was to compare pre-course and post-course POCUS utilization. Secondary objectives included understanding the course graduates’ perceived effect of POCUS on diagnosis, the frequency of ultrasound utilization and time to effective therapy. Results 212 residents and specialists received the questionnaire between 2014–2018; 116 responded (response rate of 54.7%). 72 (62.1%) participants were male, 64 (55.2%) were residents, 49 (42.3%) were specialists, 3 (2.5%) participants did not state their career status. 90 (77.6%) participants declared moderate use or multiple ultrasound use six months to four years from the POCUS course, compared to a rate of ‘no use at all’ and ‘minimal use of 84.9% before the course. 98 participants [84.4% CI 77.8%, 91.0%] agree and strongly agree that a short POCUS course may improve diagnostic skills and 76.7% [CI 69.0%, 84.3%] agree and strongly agree that the POCUS course may shorten time to diagnosis and reduce morbidity. Conclusions Our short POCUS course significantly increases bedside ultrasound utilization by physicians from different fields even 4 years from course completion. Course graduates strongly agreed that incorporating POCUS into their clinical practice improves patient care. Such courses should be offered to residents and senior physicians to close the existing gap in POCUS knowledge among practicing physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0242084
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Issue number11 November
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020

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