How GPs trained in echocardiography can help save time and money

  30 July 2019  University of Melbourne   |   Third party content – view disclaimer

More and more medical craft groups are adopting clinical ultrasound in their practice, since its first use in the 1940s, the size of the machine and the price have dropped drastically.

It is still uncommon for GPs to have an ultrasound machine. There is an underlying myth that ultrasound examinations are too time-consuming, and normally GPs would refer their patients to specialists, hospitals, or formal medical imaging. However, a common waiting time for an outpatient echocardiograph is two to three months in a public hospital. Patients are forced to wait for an accurate diagnosis.

Heart failure is a common and increasing condition that can be diagnosed with focused echocardiography, and focused echocardiography can be used it initiate and follow treatment. It complements formal echocardiography.

General practitioners who are trained in echocardiography will be able to pick up heart conditions and make interim assessments and management decisions based on their findings. It will also help save money and time for both the patients and the health system.

Unfortunately, it is still uncommon for ultrasound to be taught as a part of a medical school curriculum in Australia, therefore a large amount of our medical school graduates are not equipped with ultrasound skills.
The Ultrasound Education Group have developed two-day workshops called the iHeartScan workshop, where learners will be will introduced to transthoracic echocardiography.

The workshop is suited for general practitioners, anaesthetists, intensve care, emergency department physicians and surgeons who wish to learn how to use point-of-care transthoracic ultrasound. The knowledge gained through these workshops are not only time and money saving, but also potentially life-saving.

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By University of Melbourne.

Disclaimer: This article was provided by University of Melbourne. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.