New CT scanner at ARH will improve wait times and patient care for local community

When a local patient needs a CT scan to help diagnose and determine the best treatment for a health concern, their primary care physician or Arnprior Regional Health physician must refer them out of town to another hospital.

That’s all set to change soon.

In September 2022, ARH received approval from the Ministry of Health to proceed with the implementation project to bring a CT scanner to the Hospital.

“Our patients feel the impact of not having local CT scan services when they’re accessing care through their family physician’s office, our Emergency Department and in the Inpatient Unit,” said Dr. Florin Padeanu, Chief of Staff, ARH, and a family physician with the Arnprior and District Family Health Team. “Having a CT Scan Service at ARH will improve physicians’ ability to diagnose and manage patients leading to faster times to their discharge or transfer to the most appropriate care.”

CT scans are a type of diagnostic imaging used by clinicians to get more detailed internal images to inform diagnoses and treatment plans. Annually, more than 3,000 local hospital and primary care patients are referred out of the Arnprior area for a CT scan.

“The most important reason for obtaining a CT scanner at ARH, in my view, is improving patient care in a time when the healthcare system is in crisis,” shared Dr. Terence Woods, Emergency Department Chief, ARH.  “More patients will be more likely to receive a diagnosis locally, or have dangerous conditions ruled out by a CT without having to travel to larger centres.”

In the first year of operations, ARH expects to perform up to 6,000 CT scans, which will directly improve local patient care and help alleviate regional backlogs.

Dr. Woods added: “Having the ability to diagnose some conditions by a CT scan locally will allows us to manage these patients here in Arnprior or more confidently refer them to outpatient clinics, rather than having to transfer them elsewhere for an urgent CT scan. For urgent conditions such as surgical abdominal problems, having a diagnosis confirmed by CT can decrease the long and sometimes risky wait times that these patients experience when they cue for a CT scan elsewhere.”

With Ministry approval, ARH is moving forward and going to tender and once the construction company is selected, the project timeline will be approximately 18 months until completion. The estimated total cost of the CT Scan Project is $1,800,00 and this will be 100 per cent funded through community fundraising led by the ARH Foundation.