Ultrasound system adopted by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust’s specialist musculoskeletal service
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust’s specialist musculoskeletal (MSK) service is benefitting from a SonoSite MTurbo point-of-care ultrasound system.
As sport and exercise medicine (SEM) consultant, Dr Stephen Chew, explains: “Our primary care-based ‘one-stop’ SEM clinics were introduced to help reduce the number, and improve the quality of, orthopaedic referrals, as well as to enable swift initiation of treatment for a wide range of MSK conditions. Ultrasound scanning plays a key role in this, aiding diagnosis and patient education, and allowing image-guided injections to be performed in the clinic.
“As we operate from several locations, the M-Turbo’s portability and robustness are ideal, and its straightforward, intuitive interface gives us the capability to just switch on and start scanning, which makes all the difference when time is short.”
Dr James Noake, a fellow SEM consultant, added: “The MSK service has been running for three years now, and is proving very popular. Inappropriate physiotherapy referrals and first appointment physiotherapy waiting times have reduced significantly, generating considerable cost savings for the trust. At the longest established clinic, orthopaedic referral rates dropped to – and remain at – 50% of the rate prior to the introduction of the service. Patients benefit, too, receiving balanced, holistic care in an easily-accessible, familiar environment close to home, with swifter access to specialist assessment and treatment. Diagnostic ultrasound and therapeutic injections are provided at the point of care, supported by priority access to physiotherapy and, if necessary, prompt referrals to appropriate secondary care.”