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On-site Computed Tomography at RMA 2023 Conference

October 18, 2023

The Significance of On-Site Computed Tomography for Rural Hospital Stroke Patients

A cross-sectional clinical audit conducted by Rural Medical Education Australia and Griffith University medical students researchers has shed light on stroke care standards in rural Australian hospitals. The results of this audit were presented at the 2023 Rural Medical Australia conference. The audit delves into the impact of on-site Computed Tomography (CT) availability on the door-to-scan-time (DTST) for stroke patients, demonstrating that on-site CT facilities are pivotal in ensuring timely and equitable access to crucial diagnostic imaging for stroke patients. The audit examined data from four rural hospitals, comparing two with on-site CT and two without on-site CT.

Key Findings:

  1. Significant Reduction in Door-to-Scan-Time (DTST): Patients in hospitals equipped with on-site CT experienced remarkably shorter DTST, highlighting the impact of on-site CT availability in expediting diagnostic processes.
  2. Access to Advanced Imaging Techniques: Off-site CT hospitals had significantly fewer CT angiography or perfusion scans ordered (32% vs. 85%), suggesting potential under-scanning at sites without on-site CT.
  3. Day or Night, On-Site CT Matters: Regardless of the time of presentation (business-hours or out-of-hours), patients in hospitals with on-site CT consistently experienced expedited imaging, reinforcing the critical role of on-site facilities in providing timely care.

Dr. Nicholas Arnold, the presenting author, emphasized the real-world implications of these findings research: “Our findings show that on-site CT in rural hospitals ensures timely access to diagnostic tools, potentially impacting available treatment options and patient outcomes.”

This audit was made possible through funding received from the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program grant of the Australian Government, highlighting the collaborative efforts between academia and public health initiatives.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. William MacAskill
190 Hume Street, East Toowoomba, Queensland 4350
Email: w.macaskill@ruralmeded.org.au

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