Scanner-based protocol-driven ultrasound: An effective METHOD to improve efficiency in an ultrasound department

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © American Roentgen Ray Society. OBJECTIVE: For ultrasound, a wide variation is often observed among the number and sequence of images acquired for a particular examination type. Scanner-based protocols are preset pathways in the ultrasound machine that guide a sonographer through the required study images. These protocols can streamline image acquisition by improving consistency and efficiency of ultrasound examinations. This study evaluated whether implementation of scanner-based protocol-driven ultrasound improves efficiency by decreasing the scanning duration and number of images acquired. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective evaluation of 437 carotid Doppler examinations, 395 complete abdominal ultrasound examinations with Doppler imaging, and 413 bilateral lower extremity venous Doppler examinations for deep venous thrombosis (DVT) performed by five sonographers before and after implementation of scanner-based protocoldriven ultrasound was performed. The scanning duration and number of images acquired for each study were recorded. Statistical analysis compared the scanning duration and number of images acquired before and after implementation of protocol-driven ultrasound. A p value of < 0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS: A significant decrease in scanning duration occurred for both carotid Doppler ultrasound examinations (decrease by 12.4% [2.7 minutes], p < 0.0001) and complete abdominal ultrasound examinations with Doppler imaging (decrease by 7.5% [2.0 minutes], p = 0.0054) after implementation of protocol-driven ultrasound. The decrease in scanning duration was not significant for lower extremity DVT Doppler examinations (p = 0.4192). In addition, there was a significant decrease in the overall number of images obtained for all three types of studies. CONCLUSION: Scanner-based protocol-driven ultrasound is an effective method that streamlines image acquisition and significantly improves efficiency in an ultrasound department while ensuring consistency and adherence to accreditation guidelines.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sanyal R; Kraft B; Alexander LF; Ismail A; Lockhart ME; Robbin ML
  • Start Page

  • 792
  • End Page

  • 796
  • Volume

  • 206
  • Issue

  • 4