Enjoy the next Thomas Jefferson Point-of-Care Ultrasound Educator of the Month Series! This post is brought to you by Danielle Matilsky MD Point-of-Care Ultrasound Faculty at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA.
Frances Mae West MD (@FMaeWestMD) specializes in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. She is an Assistant Professor at Thomas Jefferson University and is the Assistant Critical Care Fellowship Director.
Dr. West joined the @jeff_sono roundtable in November 2017. Her session, “POCUS in the ICU: Are We There Yet,” highlighted her efforts to strengthen the POCUS program in her department and our focus to build an interdisciplinary team. She completed both Internal Medicine Residency and Critical Care Fellowship with POCUS expertise at New York Presbyterian – Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. She noted that there were many POCUS proficient attending physicians in the critical care division at Cornell. This top to bottom approach made its integration fairly widespread and seamless.
At Cornell, Dr. West and others pioneered a program to identify and manage hemodynamically unstable patients with pulmonary embolism. The Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT) is a model now replicated at many academic medical centers including Jefferson. The purpose of the PERT team is to rapidly mobilize a multi-disciplinary group of physicians to streamline care for patients with intermediate and high risk pulmonary emboli. Dr. West recognized the value in pulmonologists learning POCUS to minimize delays in management of these critical care patients. She learned advanced bedside echocardiography, including signs of right heart strain and acute pulmonary hypertension, as part of the workup of her critical patients with pulmonary embolism. Since her academic appointment at Jefferson, she has worked to bring POCUS to the critical care division, and is working to streamline its use in the medical intensive care units. She is also spearheading POCUS education for internal medicine residents.
Dr. West highlighted challenges of integrating POCUS in the ICU. She has fewer colleagues are competent to perform POCUS. As a result: 1. She acquired new ultrasound machines and a transesophageal echocardiography transducer, 2. She is developing a POCUS curriculum for the internal medicine residents. 3. She is teaching the critical care fellows advanced thoracic ultrasound. 4. She incorporates POCUS on daily ICU rounds, and 5. She holds training sessions for the other critical care attending physicians.
Dr. West has found value in partnerships outside of her own division to help create a critical mass of providers comfortable with POCUS. It is her vision that by teaching the residents and fellows, and partnering with other departments, she will be able to disseminate the value of POCUS outside of the emergency department.
The Point of Care Ultrasound Division at Jefferson thanks Dr. West for sharing her insights and passion for POCUS.