What is the main advantage of point-of-care (PoCUS) ultrasonography?
Khalid Azzam, MD: When I look at the advantages of using PoCUS in clinical practice, it is the ability to visualize what you are looking for at the bedside, interpret it immediately, and incorporate it into your practice in the care of the patient. I think we have enough evidence today in using PoCUS for procedural applications, like doing a thoracentesis or paracentesis or putting in a central venous catheter, that there is a decreased risk of complications, improved patient outcomes, and decreased length of hospitalization, ultimately reducing the cost to the health-care system.
In using PoCUS for diagnostic applications, which is mostly enhancing your bedside clinical skills, it improves your accuracy in physical examinations. When we talk about fluid assessment using PoCUS, it is more accurate than using fluid assessment only with physical examinations without ultrasound.
Basically, it reduces complications, cost, hopefully reduces hospitalizations, and increases accuracy of physical examination, which will all improve patient outcomes.