A contribution from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has enabled the Mountains Community Hospital ED, which serves approximately 7,000 patients annually, to obtain a mobile ultrasound imager for the emergency department.

      The hospital provides the only emergency care available in the western mountains. It is isolated from medical centers in the Inland Empire by narrow winding mountain roads and has been designated by the state and federal governments as a Critical Access Hospital.

      The population of older and retired residents is higher in the mountain communities than in the Inland Empire and state. Thus the ED is the first line of support for any patients with chronic and acute medical problems. While the Radiology Department offers traditional ultrasound imaging, this feature is often supported only by on-call staff. This can create significant delays.

      Even when staff is available, the patient must be wheeled to the Radiology Department. Point-of-care diagnostic ultrasound is much more effective and time saving. It permits the physician to make an immediate patient assessment. In other situations, it quickly confirms the proper treatment approach, resulting in more effective care and shorter stays.