(HealthDay News) — Pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) physicians should be trained in point-of-care ultrasonography, according to a policy statement published online March 30 in Pediatrics.

Point-of-care ultrasonography is increasingly being used to facilitate accurate and timely diagnoses and guide procedures. With this in mind, Jennifer R. Marin, MD, from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and colleagues developed recommendations for use of point-of-care ultrasonography among PEM physicians caring for patients in the emergency department.

The authors note that PEM physicians should be familiar with the definition and application of point-of-care ultrasonography and its use for patients in the emergency department. Those who integrate point-of-care ultrasonography should be competent in specific and relevant point-of-care examinations. Emergency departments with a PEM point-of-care ultrasonography program should have a process for educating and assessing practitioner skills, maintaining quality assurance, implementing quality improvement activities, and maintaining hospital privileges. A structured point-of-care ultrasonography education curriculum should be included in PEM fellowship programs, and fellows in training should undergo competency assessments. In addition, national organizations should develop standardized, universally accepted criteria for what defines point-of-care ultrasonography expertise.

“There is an increasing demand for PEM physicians to become adept in point-of-care ultrasonography,” the authors write. “Mounting evidence supports the benefits to pediatric patients.”

One author disclosed financial ties to 3rd Rock Ultrasound.

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