The goal was to reduce delay in patient care by decreasing patient wait times for a CT exam from requested time to start time in the emergency department. Process defects were identified as CT exams that a patient was not ready for and point of care testing not being used on patients who required pre-CT lab testing. Key improvements included: (1) assigning a radiology technologist assistant to the emergency department CT modality between the hours of 11:00 and 19:30; and (2) implementing pre-check point of care testing for creatinine and pregnancy for CT exams that require pre-labs.
Lead time for CT exams in the emergency department that required labs were reduced from an average of 80.75 minutes between August 1 and 14, 2014, to 72.56 minutes between August 15 and September 7, 2014, representing a 10.15 percent reduction from requested time to start time. Lead times for CT exams in the emergency department between the hours of 11:00 and 19:30 were reduced from an average of 96.81 minutes in September 2014 to 70.60 minutes between November 1 and December 14, 2014, representing a 27 percent reduction in wait time from ordered to start. This was further reduced to 65.41 minutes in February 2015, representing a 32 decrease decrease overall.