By Rachel Liu MD, FACEP
Dear EUS Community,
Summer has started so here comes the ACEP busy season! Since the end of the SAEM Annual Meeting, we’ve been working hard to produce a number of policies that we hope will help our community. Firstly, we submitted a policy on transducer disinfection. As frequently highlighted through the listserv, some of you have had trouble with infection control personnel overinterpreting recommendations put forth by certain manufacturers or organizations. Overzealous procedures inhibit our ability to facilitate program maintenance, so we hope to provide a guideline you can refer to. Many thanks to our infection control experts Arun Nagdev and Jason Nomura, as well as Vivek Tayal who is working with CUAP and other organizations regarding this. The policy, “Guideline for Ultrasound Transducer Cleaning and Disinfection” was approved by the ACEP Board in June.
Secondly, we proposed a guideline on the use of pocket ultrasound devices. Early adopters of these machines have run into anecdotal issues regarding the use of non-hospital-owned equipment within their clinical environments. Discussions regarding these devices among system-wide point-of-care ultrasound groups have highlighted misunderstandings that non-EM specialties hold regarding our practices and the potential for these devices. This document offers recommendations and protections that can be referred to when these devices eventually proliferate. Thanks to our reimbursement subcommittee chairs, Jennifer Marin and Stan Wu, as well as members of our industry subcommittee. The policy, “Appropriate Use Criteria for Handheld/Pocket Ultrasound Devices” was approved by the Board in June.
Thirdly, the Emergency Ultrasound Standard Reporting Guidelines from 2011 were updated. These guidelines provide templates that many of us use for our documentation worksheets, and this update adds Focused Bowel (which may also be used for pediatrics), Undifferentiated Chest Pain and Dyspnea, Undifferentiated Hypotension, and Transesophageal Echocardiography. Thanks to members of our industry subcommittee and Alfredo Tirado, who helped author the original Standard Reporting Guidelines.
The ACEP website restructure has seen some progress. There is an Ultrasound topic page and the Ultrasound Section microsite. We have been advocating for our critical pages to be given priority for updates, and without this, the work that our subcommittees are doing cannot be highlighted. Once the restructure is complete, we’ll likely go into overdrive trying to rebuild our pages. This includes updates to Sonoguide, which our editors Dasia Esener and Shirley Wu have been working hard to process. When the new site is upgradeable, keep your eyes peeled for invitations to author new chapters.
Lastly, please remind your graduating fellows and residents, or faculty who are transitioning to another institution, to use the Ultrasound Tracker – http://acep.org/ultrasoundtracker. This lets them add their numbers and exam types to their lifelong portfolios. It’s a good idea to have all your faculty add their numbers, taking the burden of tracking off of you and avoiding repeat asks for letters. The more people who use the tracker, the higher likelihood it will be added to the ACEP Dashboard.
This summer should see the completion of two resources produced by last year’s section grants: the Practical Guide to Critical Care Ultrasound ibook led by Resa Lewiss, Rob Strony and Bob Jones, and the Handbook of Clinical Ultrasound for Non-Physicians led by Eric Chin and Hilary Harper. We’re excited to see these! Two new section grants were awarded by the ACEP Section Grants Committee to Dr. David Reens (Northwell) who submitted an addition of cases to SonoGuide which coincides with the SonoGuide update., and Dr. Elias Jaffa (Duke University) who proposed an expansion of the initial Trauma ibook authored by Mike Stone and Bob Jones to increase its accessibility. Congratulations!
In May, we held our first Emergency Ultrasound Section web meeting regarding workflow and migration of Qpath Classic to Qpath E. Over 80 people attended, thanks for your interest! Please let us know your comments on the usefulness, format and content of the meeting. If it works well, then we’ll plan on holding more sessions with topics pertaining to all of us. The session is recorded and available online for those who could not make the meeting.
The ACEP Emergency Ultrasound Section is the body that fights our main political battles, and this year is no different. Thank you to the many people working behind the scenes to continuously advocate for our community and practices; your work is very much appreciated. The new book, Ultrasound Program Management textbook with editors Vivek Tayal, Mike Blaivas and Troy Foster, will prove to be one of our landmark resources. Get it on Amazon!
Rachel Liu, MD, FACEP
ACEP EUS Chair, @ACEP_EUS