Emerg Radiol. 2023 Mar 14. doi: 10.1007/s10140-023-02123-y. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has demonstrated excellent sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of DVT in the emergency department (ED). Before POCUS became widespread, patients underwent radiology department comprehensive lower extremity venous duplex ultrasounds (RADUS) which may be associated with a prolonged length of stay.
OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study is to evaluate the impact of POCUS on ED arrival to disposition (ATD) time for patients presenting to the ED with suspected lower extremity DVT.
METHODS: This is a retrospective chart analysis of ED visits to an urban, university-affiliated community hospital from January 2019 to December 2020. This study compared ATD between patients who underwent POCUS by an emergency medicine physician and RADUS by the radiology department.
RESULTS: In total, 1204 patients underwent POCUS, and 1582 patients were evaluated with RADUS. The POCUS mean ATD was 313 ± 16.8 min compared to the RADUS arm average of 323 ± 57.9 min (p = 0.56). Order to disposition time (OTD) was prolonged among the RADUS group relative to POCUS. ATD was significantly reduced in the POCUS subgroup of patients presenting during night shift when RADUS was not available, 326 ± 28.2 min versus 630 ± 109 min (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: ED POCUS scans decrease the amount of time between order placement and disposition when compared to RADUS. POCUS significantly decreases length of stay in the ED when RADUS is not available.