Critical thinking at the point of care
Clinical decisions at the point-of-care demand that practitioners execute a carefully orchestrated cognitive and technical sequence. Point-of-care ultrasound, as an extension to this clinical exam, can enhance this sequence; it can yield real-time, dynamic, and accurate findings to enable those clinical decisions. But does it always make clinical decisions better or more accurate? While the advantages of point-of-care ultrasound are clear, what is less clear sometimes is how practitioners should wield this tool in the clinical context to both increase diagnostic success and reduce diagnostic error.
In this tutorial, Dr. Smyth walks us through a challenging case of critical hypoxemia and reviews the vital steps to integrate sonographic findings. He further sheds light on how to think when ultrasound may become the center of attention; or even worse, risks de-centering your attention. We would like to thank Dr. Leo Smyth, senior trainee in General Internal Medicine, at the University of Alberta for his work.