News | October 16, 2012

Forum to Reveal How Ultrasound is Part of the Healthcare Solution

The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine Ultrasound First Forum

October 16, 2012 — The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) will host an Ultrasound First Forum on Nov. 12, 2012, in New York City. The forum will address the expanding role of ultrasound imaging as a “first” imaging examination and will be devoted to encouraging the use of ultrasound as a safe, effective and affordable alternative to other diagnostic imaging modalities where scientific evidence supports its appropriateness. The forum will bring together a broad range of stakeholders, including healthcare experts, representatives from medical societies, insurers, the U.S. Olympic Committee, the military, patient advocacy groups, government agencies and others.

For a growing number of clinical conditions, ultrasound has been shown to be equally effective, if not superior, in its diagnostic capability, with a distinct advantage in safety and cost over computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Despite this advantage, evidence suggests that ultrasound is vastly underused in the United States compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Medical experts will inform the forum participants about the medical benefits and cost-effectiveness of using ultrasound in situations involving women’s health, the musculoskeletal system and sports medicine, abdominal and renal imaging, pediatrics, echocardiography and critical care. Clinical examples will include pelvic pain, appendicitis, renal colic, the rotator cuff, vascular access and other common patient conditions.

Patient safety is a key issue when it comes to ionizing radiation exposure. Both governmental and scientific perspectives on this critical aspect will be addressed by physicians and researchers. A dynamic lunch-and-learn session will offer a live scanning demonstration to illustrate some of the concepts introduced throughout the morning. Additional highlights of the forum’s agenda include presentations by representatives from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

A key component of the forum will be a panel session in which discussion will focus on incorporation of the "ultrasound first" concept into practice. The expected outcome of the forum will be to determine the action that needs to be taken to expand the use of "ultrasound first" where appropriate.

Ultrasound First is an initiative organized by the AIUM that focuses on educating healthcare providers, medical educators, insurers and patients of the benefits of ultrasound in medical care.

For more information: www.ultrasoundfirst.org

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