A successful training program in bedside ultrasound is expanding from UC Irvine to UCLA, thanks to a $250,000 University of California grant to improve patient care.
The two-year grant, "Impact on Quality and Safety of the Implementation of a Formal Curriculum for Bedside Ultrasound at UCLA," will be led by Dr. Elizabeth Turner, UCLA director of bedside ultrasound in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
The grant is the result of a new partnership between the UC Center for Health Quality and Innovation and UC's systemwide Office of Risk Services. The joint venture, called the Center for Health Quality and Innovation Quality Enterprise Risk Management, is part of an effort to improve patient care and satisfaction throughout UC Health.
"Bedside ultrasound monitoring rose to the top as a project that we would like to see expanded at UC medical centers," said Terry Leach, executive director of the innovation center. She noted that using portable ultrasound machines when placing central lines was listed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality as one of 10 strongly encouraged patient safety practices. This diagnostic tool is becoming more prevalent in other areas of hospitals as well.
Bedside ultrasound involves portable ultrasound exams - which use sound waves to see inside the body - performed and interpreted by the physician at the time of an exam. It's a tool that can help quickly identify which medical test a patient should receive, and who should administer it.