The Effect of Multislice CT on Examination Time and Patient Throughput

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Pawelski, L (2005) 'The effect of multislice CT on examination time and patient throughput', Masters Thesis, University of South Australia.


Research was conducted at a 500 bed public teaching hospital to determine the effect of multislice CT on examination time and patient throughput compared to single-slice CT.


The research was quantitative and used a retrospective quasi-experimental design with two independent groups that were selected using a non-probability convenience sampling method. One group (N=2164) consisted of CT examinations that were performed on a single-slice CT scanner during a three month period in 2004, and the second group (N=2331) consisted of CT examinations that were performed on a multislice (16-slice) CT scanner during the corresponding three month period in 2005. Both groups included inpatients, outpatients, and patients from the Emergency Department, Intensive Critical Care Unit, and Resuscitation Rooms. Statistical analysis was performed using the nonparametric Mann Whitney U-test for the analysis of examination time, and using the parametric unpaired t-test for the analysis of patient throughput. Results were considered statistically significant if the P-value was less than 0.05.


Overall a statistically significant difference (P<0.001) was found between the single-slice and multislice CT examination times. Examinations were performed a mean of 2.45 minutes (17%) faster on the multislice CT scanner. Statistically significant differences (P<0.05) in examination time were also found between single-slice and multislice CT for eight out of eighteen individual CT examination types (anatomical areas). All non-significant results were associated with very low levels of statistical power (<45%). The analysis of patient throughput showed that there was a statistically significant difference (P=0.004) between the number of patients scanned each weekday on the single-slice and multislice CT scanners. The multislice CT scanner allowed a mean of 2.23 (9%) more patients to be scanned each weekday during working hours.


The decrease in examination time and increase in patient throughput at this public teaching hospital due to multislice CT has the potential to reduce CT examination waiting times and reduce the amount of overtime required to complete the daily CT list.