A rural CT scanner: evaluating the effect on local health care.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature166355
Source
Can Assoc Radiol J. 2006 Oct;57(4):224-31
Publication Type
Article
Date
Oct-2006
Author
Barbara J Merkens
R Douglas Mowbray
Larry Creeden
Paul T Engels
Deanna M Rothwell
Benjamin T B Chan
Karen Tu
Author Affiliation
Barbara Merkens and Associates, Don Mills, ON.
Source
Can Assoc Radiol J. 2006 Oct;57(4):224-31
Date
Oct-2006
Language
English
Publication Type
Article
Keywords
Attitude of Health Personnel
Female
Health Services Accessibility
Humans
Male
Ontario
Patient satisfaction
Questionnaires
Rural health services - organization & administration
Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed
Abstract
The first small rural hospital in Ontario to propose a computed tomography (CT) scanner was in Walkerton, a town 160 km north of London. The Ontario Ministry of Health approved the proposal as a pilot project to evaluate the effect on local health care of a rural scanner. This evaluation study had 3 parts: a survey of physicians, a survey of patients, and an analysis of population CT scanning rates.
The physicians in the area served by the scanner were asked about its impact on their care of their patients in a mailed questionnaire and in semistructured interviews. Scanner outpatients were given a questionnaire in which they rated the importance of its advantages. The analysis of scanning rates--the ratio of number of scans to estimated population--compared rates in the area with other Ontario rates before and after the scanner was introduced.
The physicians reported that local CT allowed them to diagnose and treat patients sooner, closer to home, and with greater confidence. On average, 75% of the patients ranked faster and closer access as very important. Scanning rates in the area rose, although they did not match urban rates.
The study confirms that the rural scanner changed the area's health care in significant ways and that it helped to narrow the gap between rural and urban service levels. We recommend that CT be expanded to other rural regions.
PubMed ID
17128890 View in PubMed
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