What is point-of-care ultrasound?
Point-of-care ultrasound or POCUS:
- is ultrasonography brought to the patient and performed by a health care provider in conjunction with the clinical examination in real time.
- allows findings to be directly correlated with the patient’s presenting signs and symptoms.
- allows real-time dynamic image interpretation (rather than images recorded by a sonographer and interpreted later).
- allows goal-directed, simplified, problem-based assessments (generally qualitative and binomial; rather than quantitative and descriptive).
- allows the provider to maintain expected workflow (time sensitive and repeatable).
- allows images to be archived for clinical, education, research and quality assurance purposes.
Associated terms for POCUS include: “clinical ultrasound”, bedside ultrasound”, “focused ultrasound”, “emergency ultrasound”, and “limited ultrasound”.