Division of Emergency Ultrasound

The Division of Emergency Ultrasound in the Brigham and Women’s Emergency Department focuses on education, administration, research and innovation in the rapidly growing field of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). POCUS is the use of portable ultrasound at the bedside using images both acquired and interpreted by the provider to make clinical diagnoses and guide procedures.

Mission

The mission of the Division of Emergency Ultrasound is to provide state-of-the art diagnostic and therapeutic care to emergency department patients using point-of-care ultrasound through education, research and innovation.

Clinical

Members of the Division of Emergency Ultrasound support the use of POCUS in the clinical care of patients in the Emergency Department. POCUS is a lifesaving tool that can quickly diagnose disease processes such cardiac tamponade, pneumothorax, and traumatic intra-abdominal hemorrhage. The use of ultrasound to guide invasive procedures such as central line placement, thoracentesis or paracentesis has been shown to improve patient safety. The Division of Emergency Ultrasound provides the following services to support the clinical use of ultrasound at the Brigham and Women’s Emergency Department:

  • Quality assurance
  • Credentialing of staff
  • Billing infrastructure
  • Creation of clinical policies

Education

The Division of Emergency Ultrasound is dedicated to teaching the POCUS to a wide variety of learners.

  • Developed a curriculum at Harvard Medical School incorporating ultrasound into anatomy and physiology
  • Administer a 1-month HMS advanced elective in POCUS
  • Administer a 1-month Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency ultrasound rotation
  • Administer a 2-year emergency ultrasound fellowship including a master’s degree.
  • Run didactic and hands on ultrasound training sessions for medical students, residents, PAs, fellows, faculty for EM and other departments
  • Teach at national and international CME courses

Research

The division has a strong research focus with NIH, foundation, hospital and departmental grants totaling over 2 million dollars. Division members mentor residents and fellows research projects. From 2015-2017, members of the division published

  • 21 research investigations,
  • 14 book chapters,
  • 18 abstracts/presentations
  • 4 clinical guidelines/reports and
  • 9 publications in online and other media.

Outreach

The division has collaborative partnerships with a number of groups to provide outreach and focus on improving care in low resourced settings.

  • PURE (point-of-care ultrasound in resource limited settings)
  • Indian Health Service
  • Partners in Health

Innovation

The division innovates new educational technology such as podcasting, ebooks, and gamification of learning using simulation. In addition, the division partners with industry in advancing new technologies within POCUS such as use of artificial intelligence for image recognition.

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