Background: In daily cardiology practice, porters are usually required to transfer inpatients who need an echocardiogram to the echocardiographic department (echo-lab).
Aims: To assess echo-lab personnel workflow and patient transfer delay by comparing the use of a new, ultraportable, echoscopic, pocket-sized device at the bedside with patient transfer to the echo-lab for conventional transthoracic echocardiography, in patients needing pericardial control after cardiac invasive procedures.
Methods: After validation of echoscopic capabilities for pericardial effusion, left ventricular function and mitral regurgitation grade compared with conventional echocardiography, we evaluated echo-lab personnel workflow and time to perform bedside echoscopy for pericardial control evaluation after invasive cardiac procedures. This strategy was compared with conventional evaluation at the echo-lab, in terms of personnel workflow, and patients' transfer, waiting and examination times.
Results: Concordance between echoscopy and conventional echocardiography for evaluation of pericardial effusion was good (0.97; kappa value 0.86). For left ventricular systolic function and mitral regurgitation evaluations, concordances were 0.96 (kappa value 0.90) and 0.96 (kappa value 0.86), respectively. In the second part of the study, the mean total time required in the bedside echoscopy group was 20.3±5.4 mins vs. 66.0±16.4 mins in the conventional echo-lab group (p<0.001). The echo-lab strategy needed porters in 100% of cases; 69% of patients needed a wheelchair.
Conclusion: The use of miniaturized echoscopic tools for pericardial control after invasive cardiac procedures was feasible and accurate, allowing improvement in echo-lab workflow and avoiding patient waiting time and transfer.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.