Identifying barriers to the use of ultrasound in the perioperative period: a survey of southwestern Ontario anesthesiologists.

Chui J, Lavi R, Hegazy AF, Jones PM, Arellano R, Yang H, Bainbridge D.
BMC Health Serv Res. 2019 Apr 4;19(1):214. doi: 10.1186/s12913-019-4040-2.

Ultrasound (US) can be used for many perioperative procedures, but evidence is lacking as to its frequency of use and barrier of application. The objectives of this survey were to determine i) how often US guidance was used perioperatively for vascular access placement, nerve blocks, and heart and lung assessment, and ii) to identify the barriers and the limitations of using US amongst anesthesiologists in southwestern Ontario.
We conducted a web-based survey in over 40 academic or community hospitals at southwestern Ontario.
Of 266 surveys sent, 66 complete surveys were obtained (response rate of 25%). Most respondents (> 80%) reported that US was commonly used for central venous catheter (CVC) insertion, followed by regional blocks; the uses were less frequent for neuraxial blockade and cardiopulmonary assessment. Most respondents wanted to use US more frequently as part of their practice and felt that they already had adequate US training. However, most respondents (59%) reported limited access to US machines in their working institutes as being the major barrier to incorporating US in their daily practice.
The most common uses of US in anesthesia practice in southwestern Ontario were for CVC insertion and regional blocks. Most anesthesiologists in southwestern Ontario are interested to incorporate US in their daily practice but most were limited by the lack of US resources. Apparently, only providing knowledge and skills teaching may not be sufficient to further improve the US utilization in our region; a matched administrative effort appears to be the next challenge.

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