Mobile imaging x-ray service hits road

In a first for South Australian public health services, South Australia Medical Imaging (SAMI) will roll out a new mobile radiology service, bringing x-ray equipment direct to nursing home residents and easing pressure on our busy emergency departments.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the trial of the mobile imaging service will support older patients in the southern suburbs who would otherwise require transport to a nearby hospital for an x-ray.

“We hope this innovative approach will improve efficiency across the hospital system and reduce the demand on SA Ambulance Service to transfer patients to and from hospital,” Minister Wade said.

“This is all about our commitment to deliver care closer to home and ease pressure on our EDs.

“The service means less disruption for patients by giving them access to simple diagnostic imaging without the need for a visit to the ED and with no out-of-pocket expense.

“Once fully implemented, it is estimated that the number of ED presentations from nursing homes could reduce by up to 1,750 per year as a result of this initiative.

“The new service has been made possible by SAMI’s ability to meet savings targets set by the State Government, meaning SAMI can invest in new equipment for enhanced services to the community.”

The SAMI on-road mobile x-ray service will be based at the Repat Health Precinct radiology site and will provide seven appointments a day, Monday to Friday.

It will deliver same business day or next business day imaging to residents of aged care facilities who are receiving care from hospital specialist teams in the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN).

Clinical Director of South Australia Medical Imaging, Dr Marc Agzarian, said the new mobile service will provide high quality, patient-centred care that is safe, reliable and timely for older residents.

“We’ll be focussing our service on residents who are clinically stable and do not require urgent transfer to an ED but do require an x-ray to help guide initial or ongoing care,” Dr Agzarian said.

“The types of general x-rays that can be performed by the mobile service include chest and thoracic, abdomen, spine, hips and pelvis, upper and lower limbs and facial bones.

“The service will be staffed by a SAMI radiographer and a SAMI nurse, with all images and reports available to SA Health clinicians through the same process as if they were done at a hospital site.”

Following the six-month trial, consideration will be given to expand the mobile service model to other Local Health Networks.

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