The ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization that evaluates health care technology, recently published a report of the “Top 10 Medical Technology Hazards for 2020.” In this report, point-of-care ultrasound (US) was listed as the #2 hazard. According to the report, “a lack of oversight regarding the use of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS)—including when to use it and how to use it—may place patients at risk and facilities in jeopardy.” The report goes on to state: “Policies and procedures should address institution-wide concerns, including user training and credentialing, exam documentation, and data archiving. And they should address specialty-specific issues, such as developing exam protocols that conform to established guidelines and recommendations.”
These are standards that ACEP has advocated for since approving the first comprehensive US guidelines in 2001—and this is what the Clinical Ultrasound Accreditation Program (CUAP) was all about in 2019.
US in emergency medicine has grown over the last two decades, with applications for every human body part and condition, machines with various size and technological prowess, networking technology, dedicated reporting software, training at every level of medical education, and use in every part of the globe. Medical students, residents, fellows, physician assistants, emergency medical services, nurses, other medical specialties, US device manufacturers, regulatory bodies, other US organizations, and patients all look to EM as the inception and home of point-of-care clinical US.
As emergency physician–performed US becomes more ubiquitous, your US program represents a significant component of the “signature” of your EM group in the eyes of hospital leadership and other stakeholders. Many emergency departments have made the effort to invest in US machines, US-trained physicians, US software, and US education. Well-managed US programs have processes in place that address workflow, continuous quality improvement, and patient safety. Can that investment in your US program make US more meaningful to your group, your hospital, and your practice?
Get Accredited with CUAP
CUAP is an emergency point-of-care US accreditation program that was approved by the ACEP Board in 2008 and became the first successful EM accreditation program in 2015. CUAP was created by emergency physicians to be a simple, quality-based process for emergency US program accreditation. CUAP incorporates functional criteria such as safety, quality assurance, education, and management towards accreditation.
ED directors and US directors may wonder if their program is ready for CUAP accreditation. This quick list may suggest you’re ready to apply: