March 7, 2020

Chair’s Corner

I find it somewhat astounding that despite living in Philadelphia the most snow I’ve seen this year was the intense snowstorm during Denver ACEP!  I’m not complaining mind you, and the groundhog did not see his shadow, so joyfully spring weather must be just around the corner!

The ACEP US Section newsletter is devoted to providing our membership with section updates, educational materials, and resources.  I have several updates for you and the first is about the Newsletter itself.  Historically coordinating content for the newsletter was the role of the secretary, which it still is, but now an official Newsletter task force was created.  This was done to ensure our membership receives consistent format, high quality, high yield information.  Thank you to our current secretary Dr. Marina Shpilko for heading this! 

Another major update is that we have expanded the role of the secretary to be Master of the Subcommittees.  Dr. Michael Gottlieb has taken on this task and has done an immense amount of work to ensure that we have an accurate roster for each committee, organized the committee documents, scheduled the subcommittee meetings, and documented the conversations.  This work is critical to maintaining productivity and communication.  I think I’ll just start calling Mike “Master” from here on out.

We realize that many of our section members rely on social media for updates and our section’s tweeter feed hasn’t been as active as it could be.  Please follow @ACEP_EUS and look out for tweets with highlights from the subcommittees and reading list suggestions among other important items. Thank you to Dr. Lauren McCafferty for taking on this role!

The ACEP Ultrasound Section microsite has an enormous amount of valuable information and new links are being added frequently.  To get to the US Site, type and you will see a link to the section page.  This site has many of our policies, documents, prior newsletters and the subcommittee microsites.  Look out for the Trauma Quiz, Ultrasound Tracker, a summary of high and low fidelity simulators on the Simulation Subcommittee microsite, foundational documents on system wide clinical ultrasound committee microsite, and much more.  Additionally, you do not have to be an ACEP member to access the ACEP ultrasound policy statements.  This is particularly important for those with system-wide clinical ultrasound committees and individuals collaborating with departments outside of EM.  Please refer them to here and here.

Speaking of system-wide clinical ultrasound, thank you to those who completed the survey about their current environment and I hope that you were able to join the town hall meeting.  Technology is driving a tsunami of new adopters of CUS and more and more pocus is an enterprise level institutional issue, not an EM one.  As this trend continues, I encourage all of you to get involved in leadership at your institution.  As Dan said in his last newsletter emergency medicine has created rigorous training documents, imaging criteria, robust research around clinical ultrasound.  Having EM trained individuals on these committees will help ensure that the decades of work we’ve put into this will be maintained as new users come on.  It may also give visibility to the efforts we’ve so painstakingly taken to provide quality patient care. 

Lastly, we may be seeing a trend for a new tier in clinical ultrasound.  The ACEP Policy Statement Definition of Clinical Ultrasound has clear criteria and standards, and is distinctly not part of the physical exam.  However, as new adopters come on with different scopes of practice and training standards, EM POCUS may be lumped in with these groups because of semantics.   POCUS that augments the physical exam and has an ultra-limited scope is clinically valuable, but does not meet EM imaging criteria.  Emergency medicine was not the specific target of the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) position statement on POCUS and the ECRI Institute publication naming POCUS the #2 health technology hazard of 2020” that was picked up by the Joint Commission, however it puts our practice at risk.  The response to the CAR publication can be found here. To avoid confusion, we need to be clear about our standards, engaged in education in and out of the emergency department, and advocate for the work we’ve put into the specialty as represented in our documents.

Lastly, I’d like to thank ACEP leadership, and all of the ACEP Ultrasound Section members, for the amazing work you do day in and day out to care for our patients, educate our trainees, and advance our specialty.

Nova Panebianco, MD, MPH, FACEP

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