What are the key elements of establishing a POCUS program?
Below image summarizes the key elements involved in establishing a POCUS program. First of all, the faculty need to get comfortable with the common POCUS applications, which comes only by repeated scanning. Performing educational scans and comparing with formal images/report is a good way to start.
While there is a lot of enthusiasm about handheld devices because of the lower cost and enhanced portability, their image quality is not sufficient for advanced applications or comprehensive studies. It is very easy to miss findings such as a small stone, cyst, renal mass, cardiac thrombus etc. On the other hand, if the main purpose of the program is to just introduce the trainees to basic applications such as evaluating extravascular lung water, these are good. Having said that, relatively expensive high-end handhelds do offer better image quality and options such as spectral Doppler. Here is a nice comparison of various hand held devices: