Routinely adding ultrasound examinations by pocket-sized ultrasound devices improves inpatient diagnostics in a medical department.
Eur J Intern Med. 2012 Mar;23(2):185-91
Authors: Mjolstad OC, Dalen H, Graven T, Kleinau JO, Salvesen O, Haugen BO
BACKGROUND: We aimed to investigate the potential benefit of adding a routine cardiac and abdominal diagnostic examination by pocket-sized ultrasound device in patients admitted to a medical department.
METHODS: A random sample of 196 patients admitted to the medical department at a non-university hospital in Norway between March and September 2010 was studied. The patients underwent cardiac and abdominal screening with a pocket-sized ultrasound device with B-mode and color flow imaging after a principal diagnosis was set. Three internists/cardiologists experienced in ultrasonography performed the examinations. Diagnostic corrections were made and findings were confirmed by high-end echocardiography and examinations at the radiologic department.
RESULTS: 196 patients were included (male=56.6%, meanÃÂ±SD; 68.1ÃÂ±15.0 years old). The time spent doing the ultrasound screening was meanÃÂ±SD 4.3ÃÂ±1.6 min for the cardiac screening and 2.5ÃÂ±1.1 min for the abdominal screening. In 36 (18.4%) patients this examination resulted in a major change in the primary diagnosis. In 38 (19.4%) patients the diagnosis was verified and in 18 (9.2%) patients an important additional diagnosis was made.
CONCLUSION: By adding a pocket-sized ultrasound examination of <10 min to usual care, we corrected the diagnosis in almost 1 of 5 patients admitted to a medical department, resulting in a completely different treatment strategy without delay in many of the patients. Routinely adding a cardiac and abdominal ultrasound screening has the potential to rearrange inpatients workflow and diagnosis.
PMID: 22284252 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Link to Article at PubMed