Abstract

Diagnostic imaging plays a crucial frontline role in healthcare, providing the information some physicians need to make a diagnosis and determine a course of treatment for their patients. However, wait times for access to diagnostic imaging examinations continue to be long. This is due to a number of factors, including the expanding indications for CT and MRI and growing reliance on imaging studies, Canada's lag in purchasing new equipment, an American influence on the Canadian healthcare system and clinicians' requests for inappropriate examinations. A number of strategies need to be implemented to maximize radiology's efficiency and ensure that services are being used appropriately. The author advocates the use of appropriateness guidelines for referring physicians, delisting tests that are completely inappropriate, implementing the use of radiology information systems, enhancing radiologist efficiency and using physician extenders to perform less complex medical work.