Point-of-care ultrasound in geriatrics: a national survey of VA medical centers
Geriatricians; Point-of-care ultrasound; Veterans administration
BACKGROUND: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) can aid geriatricians in caring for complex, older patients. Currently, there is limited literature on POCUS use by geriatricians. We conducted a national survey to assess current POCUS use, training desired, and barriers among Geriatrics and Extended Care ("geriatric") clinics at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational study of all VAMCs between August 2019 and March 2020 using a web-based survey sent to all VAMC Chiefs of Staff and Chiefs of geriatric clinics. RESULTS: All Chiefs of Staff (n=130) completed the survey (100% response rate). Chiefs of geriatric clinics ("chiefs") at 76 VAMCs were surveyed and 52 completed the survey (68% response rate). Geriatric clinics were located throughout the United States, mostly at high-complexity, urban VAMCs. Only 15% of chiefs responded that there was some POCUS usage in their geriatric clinic, but more than 60% of chiefs would support the implementation of POCUS use. The most common POCUS applications used in geriatric clinics were the evaluation of the bladder and urinary obstruction. Barriers to POCUS use included a lack of trained providers (56%), ultrasound equipment (50%), and funding for training (35%). Additionally, chiefs reported time utilization, clinical indications, and low patient census as barriers. CONCLUSIONS: POCUS has several potential applications for clinicians caring for geriatric patients. Though only 15% of geriatric clinics at VAMCs currently use POCUS, most geriatric chiefs would support implementing POCUS use as a diagnostic tool. The greatest barriers to POCUS implementation in geriatric clinics were a lack of training and ultrasound equipment. Addressing these barriers systematically can facilitate implementation of POCUS use into practice and permit assessment of the impact of POCUS on geriatric care in the future.
Gogtay, Maya; Choudhury, Ryan S.; Williams, Jason P.; Mader, Michael J.; Murray, Kevin J.; Haro, Elizabeth K.; Drum, Brandy; O'Brien, Edward; Khosla, Rahul; Boyd, Jeremy S.; Bales, Brain; Wetherbee, Erin; Sauthoff, Harald; Schott, Christopher K.; Basrai, Zahir; Resop, Dana; Lucas, Brian P.; Sanchez-Reilly, Sandra; Espinosa, Sara; Soni, Nilam J.; and Nathanson, Robert, "Point-of-care ultrasound in geriatrics: a national survey of VA medical centers" (2023). GW Authored Works. Paper 3340.