Importance of Physical Therapists

Why Physical Therapists Should be Using POCUS

Ultrasound is an important and necessary investment for your practice.

Although diagnostic ultrasound is in the PT scope of practice, historically it has had limited adoption due to lack of reimbursement, high cost of equipment and a lack of affordable education and certification. That is now all changing, rapidly, with the introduction of inexpensive handheld ultrasound devices, like Healcerion’s Sonon 300L, that deliver high quality imaging. Today’s Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) is easy to deploy in seconds, minimizing the impact to patient throughput.

With a 2014 study1 finding 98% of 155 Physical Therapy degree programs containing some sort of imaging education, there is a new generation of PTs that are fast making Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) the new standard of care. If you have not adopted POCUS already here is why you should, and how it can improve your practice without impacting workflow.

The following 5 reasons are why you should start now.

1. Improve patient outcomes.  Utilizing ultrasound is fast becoming a best practice for MSK practitioners. Ultrasound allows your team to clearly see the normal vs abnormal underlying structures, enabling more detailed accurate diagnosis and treatment. That leads to improving patient outcomes and happy customers.

2. Improve Patient engagement. Ultrasound allows your patients the opportunity to experience an “up close and personal” view of how their body works. This enables your practitioners the ability to educate your customers on their condition, physically seeing the pathology. Studies have shown that customers who see and are educated on their condition are more emotionally and intellectually invested in, and more motivated to follow treatment regimes. By incorporating ultrasound into your practice, we are confident that you will increase patient satisfaction.

3. Increase revenue. In today’s highly competitive Healthcare marketplace diagnostic ultrasound provides your practice the opportunity to increase revenue by improving treatment retention rates and (for practices that have guided Ultrasound billing capability) acquire a new and growing revenue stream.  A typical small practice will see a POCUS ROI within 6 to 9 months. For many practices that choose to finance their purchase ultrasound can provide a net positive revenue flow within 2 to 3 three months. By integrating ultrasound into your practice, you will grow your revenue stream and you are investing in your future.

4. Reduce Risk. In today’s litigious environment you need to make sure that you have delivered the highest standard of care you can, and then prove it. By implementing POCUS you are demonstrating that you are using the best tools at your disposal to help you in that diagnosis and treatment. When you get trained and certified in MSK Ultrasound (MSKUS) with an organization like the POCUS Academy you demonstrate that dedication to keeping your skills and practice relevant.

5. Futureproof your skill set. POCUS training is now inexpensive and affordable with many courses now online for low cost or free. Companies like Healcerion & AiM Medical also have personal 1 on 1 coaching available at no cost when you buy their device and can help guide your learning process. Dedicated POCUS training organizations, like the POCUS Academy, offer globally recognized Certifications that follow an easy-to-understand curriculum specifically designed for busy MSK professionals.

To learn more about how the APTA is helping PTs implement POCUS visit the APTA Imaging SIG at see also their Document, “Diagnostic and Procedural Imaging in Physical Therapist Practice”, 2016.