ACEP 2016 Policy Statement – Scope of Practice

Ultrasound (US) has become an integral modality in emergency care in the United States during the last two decades. Since the last update of these guidelines in 2008, US use has expanded throughout clinical medicine and established itself as a standard in the clinical evaluation of the emergency patient. There is a wide breadth of recognized emergency US applications offering advanced diagnostic and therapeutic capability benefit to patients across the globe. With its low capital, space, energy, and cost of training requirements, US can be brought to the bedside anywhere a clinician can go, directly or remotely. The use of US in emergency care has contributed to improvement in quality and value, specifically in regards to procedural safety, timeliness of care, diagnostic accuracy, and cost reduction. In a medical world full of technological options, US fulfills the concept of “staged imaging,” where the use of US first can answer important clinical questions accurately without the expense, time, or side effects of advanced imaging or invasive procedures.

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