One year on from introducing improvements to computerised tomography (CT) scanning at the Royal Sussex County Hospital’s Emergency Department, the radiology team celebrate a quicker and more efficient service.
Over the last year, even with an almost 40% increase in the number of CT scan requested each week, the team have achieved significant improvements.
These include more timely scans, including those completed within 60 minutes of being requested, and improving the turnaround of results being available within an hour of the scan.
Darren, Lead Radiographer for the acute floor, said: “Time is crucial when it comes to CT scans. To help us continuously improve the service, we held a Rapid Improvement Event, as part of a series of improvements in the Emergency Department.”
The radiology team collaborated with doctors, porters, healthcare assistants and IT specialists to identify key areas where CT scan delays occurred. They also gathered information from colleagues through surveys.
One of the main findings was that due to radiographers transporting patients from the Emergency Department to the scanner and back again, the scanner was not in use for periods of time. It also revealed that patients were often not prepared and ready for their scan, and the team sometimes had difficulty locating patients using the existing scan request system, which caused delays.
To overcome these challenges, the team introduced the role of a much-needed Radiography Department Assistant (RDA) to support the radiographers. They also implemented a new digital dashboard to streamline the request system and created informative posters to remind colleagues how to prepare patients, so they are ready to be scanned.
Darren added: “Introducing six new RDAs means we now have the right people doing the right job. The electronic dashboard has made the process so much smoother and has cut out the number of phone calls from doctors to the radiologists.
“Staff morale has also vastly improved, as having an efficient service means less frustration within the team.
“Ending up in ED can be a traumatic experience, so we are delighted to be able to provide a better patient experience.”