What is "Point-of-Care Ultrasound" (POCUS?)
Point-of-care ultrasound refers to the practise of trained medical professionals using ultrasound to diagnose problems wherever a patient is being treated, whether that's in a modern hospital, an ambulance, or a remote village. When Sonosite introduced the Sonosite 180 twenty years ago, it enabled clinicians to treat patients faster, more accurately, and in a non-invasive way at the point of care, without relying on trips to the Radiology department.
Bedside Ultrasound vs POCUS
What’s the difference between “point-of-care ultrasound” and “bedside ultrasound”? The terms are closely related, but there is a slight difference between the two.
“Bedside Ultrasound” is an older term that describes the sonographic assessment of patients, usually in a medical facility, at the patient’s bedside. The term acknowledges the use of portable ultrasound so that a patient is not inconvenienced by the need to physically move to a radiology suite to be scanned.
“Point-of-Care Ultrasound” is a broader term that encapsulates the many scenarios in which portable ultrasound machines can be used. For instance, a patient may be scanned using portable ultrasound while in an ambulance on the way to an emergency room. Or a patient may be scanned in the trauma bay after being delivered to the hospital emergency room. As such, “point-of-care ultrasound” indicates that portable ultrasound can be transported to wherever the patient is located.
Learn How to Get Started Using POCUS
We believe the best chance a patient has at getting better is a clinician at their side with the right answers and the confidence to act. That's why we offer ultrasound education when and where you want it. Visit our Education page to get started learning about ultrasound-guided exams and applications today.