Providing the best possible patient care lies at the intersection of diagnostic accuracy, patient throughput, and return on investment (ROI).
Diagnostic accuracy depends on image quality—fewer artifacts and distortions make tricky diagnoses possible. Higher resolution can also reveal that what was once seen as an artifact is actually clinically relevant. ‘We are so used to artifacts on 64-slice that we discount many things. You have to look at the 320 under a different light. You can’t assume there are artifacts anymore. … We started asking ourselves if we were calling things abnormal when they are actually OK. It was really sobering,’ Higher resolution doesn’t eliminate all artifacts, however.
Patient throughput matters—the more patients that can be seen allows for a scanner to serve multiple specialties. For example, ’[t]he Aquilion One 320-slice scanner can complete an entire body scan in three seconds, and a heart scan without table movement in less than half a second.’ Emergency departments especially benefit from shorter scan times.
ROI for expensive systems is best addressed in busy facilities. ‘The University of Chicago Medical Center located its 256-slice scanner next to the emergency department. It is also used by several specialties in addition to cardiology. Vannier said this helps spread the cost of the machine and ensures it does not sit idle.’
Knowing the needs of your facility, staff, and patients provides a baseline for choosing equipment. Focusing on diagnostic accuracy, patient throughput, and ROI will help you make a prudent choice.
Quotes above taken from https://www.dicardiology.com/article/costs-vs-benefits-comparing-64-slice-256-320-slice-ct# accessed June 23, 2020.
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