Expanded access to CT scans for Manitobans
Extended hours and walk-in availability will enable 4,766 additional scans each year
Manitoba patients requiring less-urgent computed tomography (CT) scans now have improved access to this important service with the opening of the Diagnostic Imaging Outpatient Centre (DIOC) at Misericordia Health Centre, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.
“Our government is committed to improving access to health services and reducing wait times for Manitoba patients, including wait times related to diagnostic tests,” said Friesen. “The ability to accommodate walk-in CT scans is a first in Manitoba and will be especially significant for patients from outside Winnipeg who would otherwise have to wait and potentially travel back to Winnipeg for the test on another day.”
The Manitoba government is providing $94,000 annually to support the operations of the program. The funding will enable an additional 4,766 CT scans to be performed at Misericordia Health Centre each year.
Eligible patients will be referred to the DIOC by a health-care provider and be able to either make an appointment or access services on a walk-in basis by presenting their requisition when the centre is open.
Petr Kresta, chief operating officer, Diagnostic Services, Shared Health, praised the investment and the work done at Misericordia to create efficiencies with innovative workflows.
“Patients who meet certain criteria and require less-urgent CT scans will be seen at Misericordia,” said Kresta. “By streamlining the referral process for CT and expanding the hours of service available to Manitoba patients, we are confident this new centre will help ease some of the demand for diagnostic services.”
The new model, which will see the DIOC open on weekday evenings and Saturdays, will be assessed over the coming months. Project evaluation will include tracking the number of low-acuity patients seeking care in an emergency department who require a CT scan, costs per exam, patient and physician satisfaction and the volume of walk-in patients. If successful, a similar approach to certain ultrasound procedures will be considered in the future, added Kresta.
The DIOC is expected to improve patient flow and contribute to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s (WRHA) ongoing efforts to reduce emergency department turn-around times and the length of stay for patients throughout the region.
“This initiative will increase access for patients requiring less-urgent CT scans and supports our commitment to ensuring patients are able to access care in the most appropriate setting,” said Gina Trinidad, chief health operations officer, Continuing Care and Community, WRHA.
The DIOC welcomes patients for appointments or walk-in services on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.