Date of Award

Summer 2022

Project Type


College or School




Program or Major

Master's of Nursing

Degree Name


First Advisor

Elizabeth Evans


Background: Throughput is a key metric for both the emergency department and the hospital system. Diagnostic tests, such as CT scans, can lead to a large delay in patient throughput which can negatively impact patient satisfaction and patient outcomes. Finding ways to reduce delays in CT scan acquisition can positively impact patient satisfaction and patient outcomes.

Aim: The specific aim of this quality improvement project was to decrease the amount of time it takes to complete abdominal CT scans with IV contrast once ordered from 61 minutes to below 35 minutes by July 1st, 2022

Methods: Plan was to implement the use of “CT ready” disposition into practice to increase communication between the ED and CT staff and reduce order-to-scan times. To do this, education would be provided to staff over a six-day period about how to use the disposition and the implications for using it. Prior to education, a pre-survey was given to staff to assess their prior knowledge of the intervention and their perceptions of it. After the education period and the conclusion of the intervention implementation, a post-survey was given to staff to assess their knowledge and perceptions of the intervention at that point. The pre- and post-surveys were compared to one another to assess perception changes and to assess the successfulness of the education provided. The order-to-scan times were also collected and compared to the times pre-intervention to assess for improvement.

Results: There was an overall reduction in order-to-scan times by 36% from the pre-education period to the education period. Order-to-scan times decreased from 73 minutes to 48 minutes over the six-day education period. The survey results showed increased staff knowledge regarding the intervention and positive staff perception of the use of the intervention and its benefit in practice.

Conclusion: Communication is a key aspect to reducing the order-to-scan times for CT scans. Other implications in practice of this quality improvement project, and the limitations, will be discussed. The sustainability of this quality improvement project and the implications for future work will also be discussed.