After honing his skills as an MSK sonologist over 14 years, Greg Fritz, PT, DPT, RMSK, is eager to spread the word about how using ultrasound has made him a better physiotherapist. He recently shared his insights during a webinar presented by Clarius. Read on to learn what Greg said about how ultrasound has added value to his practice.
1. High Definition Ultrasound Imaging Narrows the Differential
“For MSK complaints, there could be so many possible diagnoses. We know from many studies that ultrasound is superior for diagnostics than a physical exam. Being able to see the issue in real time means I don’t have to order x-rays or wait for the results from an MRI. It saves the patient pain and time.”
2. Real-Time Ultrasound Takes Away the Guesswork
“Seeing what is going on under the hood helps us figure out the diagnosis at play quickly and precisely. It takes out the guesswork and gives me clear evidence to make a confident diagnosis. For example, physicians can be terrible at diagnosing joint diffusions. Seeing fluid in a joint is probably the easiest diagnostic exam you can do with a point-of-care ultrasound.”
3. A Confident Diagnosis Directs the Most Effective Treatment
“I sometimes hear relying on ultrasound takes away the art of the diagnosis. But, I would take precision and confidence over art with the help of modern medicine. We can be certain to provide the right intervention treatment and prescribe an effective rehabilitation strategy when we know precisely what the issue is. Plus, actually showing a patient the issue helps get buy-in for the treatment.”
4. Capturing Ultrasound Images Documents Actual Progress
“We’ve all had our injuries and know what it’s like to rehabilitate. Few of us have had the experience of seeing the progress. Handheld ultrasound helps us capture progress and show it to patients in black and white.”
5. Seeing Ultrasound Motivates Patients Like Never Before
“Having objective feedback and the ability to clearly show progress can motivate a patient to keep up with their treatment plan, even when progress is slow. You can also see when a patient doesn’t follow their treatment plan and use that knowledge to encourage better compliance. For example, I can measure muscle thickness and see when a patient is not doing strengthening exercises or overloading the tendon.”
6. It Saves Time and Shortens Recovery
“An accurate on-the-spot diagnosis means we can prescribe the right treatment for rehabilitation immediately. Patients save time and money, and they are more satisfied with the results. Patients can be on the mend sooner when they don’t have to wait for a diagnosis. I get a lot of referrals from happy patients.”
7. Ultrasound Drives Professional Benefits
“With MSK ultrasound skills, you can distinguish yourself and your practice from your peers. For example, you’ll see more patient referrals from podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons who know they can get a quicker diagnosis than waiting for an MRI.”
8. Handheld Ultrasound Provides a Rapid Return on Investment
“For practitioners in the United States, there is a definite return on investment. For every evaluation that I do, I’m getting a net collection based on insurance between $45 and $160 depending on what zone I’m scanning. I have also seen a 25 percent increase in referrals because I have this expertise.”
For information on reimbursements for MSK ultrasound, visit www.clarius.com/CPT.
Certification Courses are Readily Available
MSK ultrasound courses are available globally through various associations. In the United States, the Alliance for Physician Certification & Advancement (APCA) offers RMSK certification twice a year – click here to learn more. Training is also available from Sonoskills and the Advanced MSK Ultrasound Center, which both deliver a variety course formats, offering CME credits, including self-paced online learning.
Handheld Ultrasound is Accessible for Every Clinician
Handheld ultrasound has made high definition imaging more affordable and easier to use than complex cart-based and laptop systems. Greg Fritz primarily uses the Clarius L15 HD for his practice. Learn more about which Clarius Handheld Ultrasound scanner is right for your MSK Practice.