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Dr. Drew Thompson is the 2017 recipient of the President’s Award for Innovation for his contributions to the initiation and development of the Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Program, which is widely considered a standard of care in emergency departments across Canada. Dr. Thompson is a physician in Emergency Medicine at LHSC.
POCUS allows for ultrasound imaging at the bedside by the treating clinician thereby reducing diagnostic uncertainty, limiting radiation exposure, and expediting clinical decisions without requiring a potentially-unstable patient to leave the emergency department for testing. POCUS can also reduce the need for more extensive diagnostic testing and reduces wait times for such testing.
As a result, POCUS vastly improves the patient experience and contributes to more efficient access and flow in the emergency department. With further benefit in the ability to also use POCUS to guide invasive procedures more safely, the benefits to both the clinician and the patient are obvious. As one of Dr. Thompson’s colleague’s notes, “Not a shift goes by that I don’t reach for the ultrasound in an effort to improve the care I provide for my patients.”
Dr. Thompson recognized the value of bedside diagnostic imaging 15 years ago when he was introduced to point-of-care ultrasound and has since been an integral figure in LHSC’s POCUS Program. Starting with a single machine, Dr. Thompson grew the program by developing and leading education and training throughout the emergency departments and eventually expanding the training program to multi-disciplinary trainees across the hospital. Dr. Thompson is lauded by colleagues and students for the enthusiasm, vision, and countless hours he has contributed to the POCUS Program.