Notably, of the ED doctors who said that they weren’t using POC US because of limited need, the authors predicted that many would change their opinions if they were given more education about the benefits of bedside ultrasound. But because of limited training on POC US—a problem, in part, because many practicing ED doctors were trained prior to the widespread use of bedside ultrasound—the doctors didn’t know enough about POC US or its benefits for patient care to see a need for it.
Given the triple barriers of training, cost, and perceived limited need for bedside ultrasound, what can be done to increase its use, especially in the ED where it offers significant benefits to patient care? Ultimately, the study’s authors recommended leveraging “recent educational and technical advancements” to get POC US into the hands of more doctors.
Bottom line: To increase the use of bedside ultrasound, doctors need ultrasound devices that are affordable, portable, and easy to learn. They need C-Suite stakeholders to back them up by recommending and approving the purchase of these devices. And they need the radiology department to help train them on ultrasound.8 At the end of the day, increasing the use of bedside ultrasound in the ED will be a tandem effort, but by combining increased training with better ultrasound devices, widespread use of POC US can become a reality.