Effect of Scanner-based Protocol-driven Ultrasound

February 16, 2016

Researchers identify whether scanner-based protocols for ultrasound improve department efficiency.

Scanner-based protocol-driven ultrasounds (US) can streamline image acquisition and improve US department efficiency, according to a study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Researchers from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, and Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA, performed a retrospective evaluation of US examinations to evaluate if implementation of a scanner-based protocol-driven US would improve efficiency in the department.

A total of 437 Doppler examinations, 395 complete abdominal US examinations with Doppler imaging, and 413 bilateral lower extremity venous Doppler examinations for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) were reviewed. The examinations were performed by five sonographers before and after implementation of the new protocol. The researchers recorded the scanning duration and the number of images required for each study.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"45940","attributes":{"alt":"ultrasound","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_2452118670185","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"5293","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 257px; width: 180px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"©RSNA 2015.","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

The results showed that after implementation of the protocol-driven ultrasound, there was a significant decrease in the overall number of images obtained for all studies, as well as a significant decrease of 2.7 minutes (12.4%) in duration of scanning for both carotid Doppler ultrasound examinations and a decrease of 2.0 minutes (7.5%) for complete abdominal ultrasound examinations. However, the decrease in scanning duration was not significant for lower extremity DVT Doppler examinations.

The researchers concluded that such a protocol is “an effective method that streamlines image acquisition and significantly improves efficiency in an ultrasound department while ensuring consistency and adherence to accreditation guidelines.”