Using a portable or bedside ultrasound machine lessens the length of stay in pediatric emergency departments, according to a study presented at the recent American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition.

A third-year medical student at the University of Louisville led a group of researchers from five universities in analyzing Medicaid data from Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville.

Researchers discovered annual average costs of obtaining and using point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) in the emergency setting total $75,240. The annual average revenue realized from the use of POCUS is $115,969, resulting in a net annual operating revenue of $40,729.

The team found that this net revenue can be realized using POCUS for four common pediatric procedures: Focused Assessment for Sonography in Trauma or “FAST” exam, evaluation of abscesses, ultrasound guidance in draining abscesses, and ultrasound guidance in performing a femoral nerve block as a local anesthetic prior to surgery. The group based their analysis on the perspective of physician fees, not facility reimbursement fees.