Access to radiographic services is a challenge for many rural communities. As a solution, the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) recently gave family physicians who showed an interest in using point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) a Clarius handheld ultrasound system to use in their practices.
Curious about the results of the novel program, Drs. Jude Kornelsen, Hilary Ho, Virginia Robinson, and Oron Frenkel conducted a qualitative study evaluating the experience of the 21 family physicians who participated. During in-depth interviews, the physicians were asked about their motivation to participate, the training they received, their current use of POCUS, their experience with the technology, and their experience interacting with ultrasound specialists in their regions.
In general, the study demonstrated the importance of POCUS in improving patient care for facilitating timely diagnosis and treatment. Physicians described being able to diagnose fractures and heart failure at the bedside, deliver better maternity care, and enhance procedures with ultrasound-guided central line or IUD insertions.
Following are some highlights that we gleaned from our review of the study results:
POCUS “is a game-changer for small communities.”
The 21 rural family physicians reported that using Clarius “led to improved clinical decision making,” while “reducing the draw on formal imaging services” and reducing unnecessary transfers.
A rural family practice physician described Clarius’ handheld ultrasound as “an incredibly important tool that I don’t think I can practice in rural Canada without any longer.”
Another observed that their job was simplified by the ability to use handheld ultrasound at the bedside. They found “immediate feedback was extremely useful, particularly in communities without access to formal ultrasound services.”
I’d say that the vast majority of specialists that have been consulted where ultrasound is part of the clinical picture have been excited that we’re doing bedside ultrasounds,” a rural family physician described how specialists appreciate that local providers do “whatever they can.”
POCUS was also seen to contribute to a physician’s job satisfaction by bringing physicians back to the bedside to help diagnose the patient faster. “And so, it brings back the humanity of medicine for me in many ways.”
Physicians reported that patients have been pleased to receive “immediate information on their clinical condition.” For example, maternity patients have appreciated the assurance they’ve received on the viability of their pregnancy and knowing the in-utero position of their baby at term, without needing a referral out of their community.
Rural Physician, Dr. Virginia Robinson Shares Her Experiences
Dr. Virginia Robinson has been using Clarius ultrasound in Fernie, BC, which is a long way away from hospital medical imaging. Watch this 4-minute video to learn about how she uses Clarius ultrasound to narrow differential diagnoses quickly.
About Clarius Ultrasound for Primary Care
With high-definition imaging and automated settings, Clarius wireless ultrasound is considered by many physicians to be the ultimate stethoscope for primary care physicians to answer clinical questions quickly. With an innovative wireless dual-array design that combines a phased and linear array on a single head, the NEW Clarius PAL HD3 delivers unsurpassed versatility, superior image quality, and streamlined workflows for whole-body imaging.
Book a virtual demo with a Clarius expert in your region to learn more about the various options available for your practice.