Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Donna Rinker

Second Advisor

Dr. Anne Mckay

Academic Year



Background and Objectives: In the rural primary care setting, the process for outpatient

ultrasound testing has multiple steps, all of which provide opportunities for delay in testing and diagnosis. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a solution that allows the physician to perform same-day ultrasound in the primary care clinic. The objective of this program development project was to implement POCUS in a rural primary care clinic to reduce time to testing and diagnosis for those patients requiring ultrasound testing.

Methods: A 3-month chart audit was conducted to examine the average length of time required to complete ultrasound testing in the outpatient radiology department. Audit results were compared to POCUS testing. A 6-question Likert scale was developed to assess patient satisfaction with the POCUS process. The Donabedian Model and Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services framework were used to examine and implement POCUS.

Results: Chart audits revealed 34 ultrasounds that were ordered. The mean number of days from the time the ultrasound was ordered to the time it was uploaded into the electronic medical record was 27. One POCUS was performed during the implementation period. It was done same- day and its results eliminated unnecessary specialty referral.

Conclusion: POCUS is a valid and reliable tool that can be used by the primary care provider to assist in diagnosis and may significantly reduce time to testing and time to diagnosis. It may also have a unique role in rural settings where resources may be limited.