Study examines use of endoscopic ultrasound in pancreatic cancer | Not all hospitals use ultrasound for pediatric appendicitis evaluation | Texas paramedics participate in hand-held ultrasound study
March 21, 2017
Ultrasound SmartBrief
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Clinical Advancements in Sonography
Study examines use of endoscopic ultrasound in pancreatic cancer
The likelihood that a pancreatic cancer patient will undergo endoscopic ultrasound instead of surgery to determine the severity of the disease is largely driven by the geographic location of his or her provider, according to a study in HPB: The Official Journal of the International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association. Academic centers and National Cancer Institute-designated cancer facilities tended toward referrals to gastroenterologists for possible endoscopic ultrasound, compared with community doctors who usually send patients to surgeons for the initial evaluation. (3/14) 
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Not all hospitals use ultrasound for pediatric appendicitis evaluation
A study published in Academic Emergency Medicine found some hospitals are still using CT to evaluated pediatric appendicitis cases. Ultrasound was used in 54% of patients while CT scan was used first in 22.4% of cases. The availability of ultrasound technology and staff trained in ultrasound was the only significant hospital-associated factor connected to ultrasound use over CT. (3/16) 
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Texas paramedics participate in hand-held ultrasound study
A Texas A&M University medical student is conducting a study to determine how hand-held ultrasounds can help paramedics. Four teams in Texas are participating, and the paramedics say the tablet-size ultrasound machine helps them assess heart and lung function and place IVs, enabling them to provide faster, potentially lifesaving treatment.
KVUE-TV (Austin, Texas) (3/16) 
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Technology Update
Ultrasound may help ID brain damage
Researchers at Georgia-based Augusta University are working on 3D ultrasound technology designed to diagnose brain damage by imaging the optic nerve. The device works by detecting subtle changes in the optic nerve sheath indicative of intracranial pressure changes. (3/16) 
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Cardiovascular ultrasound device from Toshiba receives FDA approval
The FDA has cleared Toshiba Medical's Aplio i900 cardiovascular ultrasound device intended for use in pediatric, fetal, transesophageal echocardiography and stress echo imaging.
FDAnews (3/20) 
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Patient Care in Medicine
Study: Letting patients add to EHRs improves patient-clinician communication
According to a study in the Annals of Family Medicine, 79% of patients and 74% of clinicians said allowing patients to type agendas into the EHR visit note improved communication between patients and clinicians. Researchers used a cohort of 100 patients and clinicians at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and found the practice may also lead to health care improvement because it allows patients to voice their concerns and clinicians to understand patient priorities.
Healthcare Informatics online (3/15) 
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Legislative & Regulatory Update
GOP lawmakers debate AHCA revisions ahead of planned House vote
GOP lawmakers debate AHCA revisions ahead of planned House vote
(Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
The American Health Care Act will undergo some changes before a House floor vote on Thursday, said Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who said he remains confident it will ultimately pass. Republican Study Committee leaders gave their support Friday after the White House agreed to include an option for states to integrate a work requirement into Medicaid programs, add a Medicaid block grant option and offer larger tax credits for lower-income, older Americans.
Reuters (3/20),  Morning Consult (3/17),  The Hill (3/17) 
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Expanding Medicaid increases access to care, report says
A health system scorecard released by the Commonwealth Fund found health coverage and access to medical care among low-income Americans increased more in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility than in states that did not expand their program. The scorecard uses 44 health care measures to rank all states and the District of Columbia.
Medscape (free registration) (3/16) 
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Apply for the Midwife Sonography examination by April 7!
By earning the Midwife Sonography Certificate, midwives gain a critical edge in promoting public safety in women's point-of-care ultrasound. Apply today!
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The application period for the Physicians' Vascular Interpretation (PVI) examination will close this week!
The application period for the PVI examination will close this Thursday, March 23! By earning the PVI certification, physicians can demonstrate their knowledge and expertise. Apply today!
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