Role of Point of Care Ultrasound in Prehospital care: an interview study

Akanuwe, Joseph, Siriwardena, Niro, Bidaut, Luc , Mitchell, Pauline, Bird, Paul, Lasserson, Dan and Lilford, Richard (2022) Role of Point of Care Ultrasound in Prehospital care: an interview study. In: 999 EMS Research Forum Conference 2022, 29th March 2022, Virtual.

Role of Point of Care Ultrasound in Prehospital care: an interview study

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Point of Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) is a currently available and rapidly developing technology albeit still not widely used in the UK. Prehospital PoCUS could help to prioritise initial treatment, procedures and appropriate patient conveyance. A recent literature review suggests that the image quality, portability and cost of ultrasound devices are improving with widening indications for prehospital PoCUS but evidence of prehospital use and impact is needed. We aimed to explore the views of practitioners (who use ultrasound in practice) on the potential role of PoCUS, the challenges and facilitators associated with its use in prehospital care.

We conducted a qualitative interview study using purposive sampling through social media and a snowballing technique to recruit eligible participants. Individual interviews were conducted online via Microsoft Teams. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using a Thematic Framework approach assisted by NVivo 12 software until data saturation.

In total, 16 practitioners - aged between 36 and 62 years, with a range of professional backgrounds including paramedics and prehospital emergency physicians - participated in interviews. Participants identified several facilitators to support a widespread implementation of PoCUS in prehospital care: resource requirements for purchase and deployment of devices, sufficient time and a skilled workforce; special attention to training, education and support needs; proper organisational governance, guidelines and quality assurance; enabling ease of use in aiding decision making and taking unintended consequences or incidental findings into consideration. In addition, more robust evidence to support perceptions of improved patient outcomes and experience is needed; workforce considerations should include supportive staff, champions and leadership.

Prehospital PoCUS could be useful for care processes and pathways. However, the facilitators identified should be considered for a widespread implementation of prehospital PoCUS.

Keywords:Point of Care, Ultrasound, facilitators, Prehospital, practitioners
Subjects:A Medicine and Dentistry > A100 Pre-clinical Medicine
A Medicine and Dentistry > A300 Clinical Medicine
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B711 District Nursing
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:48800
Deposited On:31 Mar 2022 10:06

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