Availability and use of antenatal point-of-care ultrasound services within rural South Australian health care

Mikaela Doig, Amber Bidner, Janine Dizon, Katherine Guerrero, Eva Bezak, Nayana Parange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Delivery of obstetric ultrasound has become a routine component of antenatal care (ANC) in the developed world; however, there is a lack of trained sonographers located in rural and remote communities of Australia who provide obstetric ultrasound. Point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) is a feasible and practical option to overcome the challenges of providing obstetric ultrasound in rural and remote communities. PoCUS is a focused, limited ultrasound examination to answer specific questions that are conducted by the same health care practitioner who will be using the information to direct immediate patient care management. PoCUS is increasingly used by other medical specialties, including doctors and nurse practitioners, to provide antenatal ultrasound in rural practice. PoCUS implementation during routine delivery of ANC has been analysed in under-resourced and remote settings and has proven to be a feasible solution to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes and increase maternal engagement with pregnancy care. PoCUS is cost-effective, easily implemented in existing clinics and can be used accurately with limited training.

There is a lack of research considering the barriers experienced by rural Australian women when accessing obstetric ultrasound. Additionally, it is unknown what ultrasound services are available in rural areas and whether PoCUS services are being used. This study seeks to address this gap in literature by investigating the availability, accessibility and use of obstetric PoCUS services in regional, rural and remote communities of South Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Volume30
Issue number2
Early online date19 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Obstetric ultrasound
  • Rural health
  • Remote health
  • Health care access
  • Health care delivery

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