RSNA 2019: Imaging Informatics Preview

Simulation model may enable faster ED CT turnaround

By Erik L. Ridley, AuntMinnie staff writer

November 14, 2019 --

Sunday, December 1 | 12:05 p.m.-12:15 p.m. | SSA06-09 | Room N227B
In this study, researchers from Canada will share how they utilized simulation software to pursue their goal of speeding up turnaround time for urgent CT exams of emergency department (ED) patients.

With the ever-present limitations on resources, it's desirable to spend money wisely when implementing change, according to senior author Dr. Ferco Berger of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. As a result, the researchers sought to determine which modifications to the ED would generate the best results for investments made to improve turnaround time for CT requests.

To accomplish this goal, the researchers used simulation software to build a discrete event simulation model for the process of emergency patient CT imaging. Discrete event simulation enables users to model the uncertainty and complexities of systems, such as those found in hospitals.

After the model was validated using parameters from their site, the researchers then used it to evaluate its potential effect on report turnaround time from many different simulated scenarios, such as changing the percentage of CT requests that require manual protocolling, increasing the overall demand for emergency CT exams, and changing the roster of CT technologists present during the day and evening.

"Testing these scenarios provided us with insights in where we would have maximal improvement and should focus our changes on," Berger told

The simulation showed that better returns on investment would be realized by adding more after-hours shifts for technologists and implementing better scheduling procedures, according to the researchers.

"So far, the hospital has invested in new technologists' after-hours shifts, changes have been made to the manual protocol system, and a dashboard has been deployed to help with patient scheduling," presenter Deyvison Talmo Baia Medeiros added.

Get all the details by attending this talk on Sunday.