Journal scan

Patients without primary care providers more likely to have CT scan in emergency departments, study finds

American-based research finds more people who have CT scans in the emergency department didn't have a primary care provider

Patients are more likely to have a computed tomography (CT) scan in an emergency department (ED) if they don’t have access to a primary care provider, research has found.

The study, carried out at Saint Mary’s Hospital Campus Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, America, analysed all ED visits where a CT scan was obtained between 2003 and 2012. A total of 595,895 visits, including 98,001 visits where a CT was obtained (16.4%), were included.

CT use per 1,000 ED visits increased at 21.5% from 169.4 to 205.8 over the study period for patients without a primary care provider. For patients with a primary care provider, there was a 19.4% increase from 118.9 to 142.

Ethnicity divide

The study found that more caucasian patients had a CT scan compared to other ethnicities (17.1% white, 13.9% Asian,


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