How Long is Too Long for Emergent CT Imaging in Rural Communities?


Timely access to a CT scan is critical to diagnose and triage patients with life-threatening illnesses. In BC, only 3% of rural hospitals have access to a local CT scanner, and patients in these communities must often be transferred hundreds of kilometres away for emergent imaging. The objective of this study was to investigate how many transfers from Golden and District Hospital were for CT scans over a 1-year time period, and describe the time delays to emergent CT imaging.

This study, led by member Adam Watchorn, highlights that the lack of a rural CT scanner is associated with increased transfers and significant time delays. Improving access to CT scanners for rural communities may be one of the many steps in addressing healthcare disparities between rural and urban communities.

View the full study in CJEM.