Implementation and Evaluation of a Family Medicine Obstetrical Point of Care Ultrasound (FaMOUS) Course
Family physicians (FPs) provide the majority of 1st trimester pregnancy care in Canada. For patients, it can be a time of great anticipation, but complications can occur, such as miscarriage, and less often, ectopic pregnancy. When patients in 1st trimester pregnancy present to their FPs with vaginal spotting and/or abdominal cramping, which occur in up to 40% of pregnancies, they are frequently referred to emergency departments to undergo US to exclude ectopic pregnancy.
In order to facilitate expedited care of pregnant patients and defer ED visits, particularly in resource-limited areas, we developed and implemented a 1st trimester POCUS certification course for FPs caring for pregnant patients in Ontario.
As part of this inaugural course, US equipment has been provided to 3 Toronto clinics for use by FaMOUS certified providers. We will be documenting diagnostic accuracy, patient and provider satisfaction, and provider confidence over a one year period. Additionally, as the use of this imaging modality grows, we will evaluate outcomes such as cost effectiveness and impact on ED referrals.
It is our hope that FaMOUS will enhance family medicine maternity care in Canada and will establish a standard for FPs utilizing office-based POCUS for uncomplicated 1st trimester pregnancy issues.