Brockville – Getting timely ultrasound exams for patients has gotten easier thanks to the efforts of Brockville General Hospital’s (BGH) Diagnostic Imaging (DI) Department. Over the past few months, staff in the department have worked together to decrease the wait times for many exams.
“In the past, patients could be waiting months for an exam,” explained Benjamin Yam, Diagnostic Imaging Manager. “That wait time was not ideal for patient care, and the staff worked determinedly to improve it.”
General ultrasound exams at BGH used to have a three-month waitlist and three to four-month waitlist for an echocardiogram. The combined efforts of the ultrasound team have brought the wait times for these exams down to just three weeks for a general ultrasound and six weeks for an echocardiogram.
Echocardiograms are an imaging technique where an ultrasound machine is used to create a visual representation of a patient’s heart. The sound waves produced by the ultrasound construct an internal image of the heart which allows echo sonographers find potential heart diseases in patients. Similarly, general ultrasounds create an internal picture of a patient, which can be used by sonographers to diagnose the patient’s condition.
“When speaking with staff,” said Yam, “we found that everyone on our team really wanted to do more to improve wait times. With the team willing to take more on, the department was able to gradually increase daily workload by more than 25 per cent. On top of that, we were able to recruit a new echo sonographer who works on the weekends to help us reduce wait times even further.”
“All the kudos goes to the ultrasound team and clerical staff. Their hard-work and determination is what has allowed us to reach this point. They all put patient-benefit first.”