CT and MRI information is reported to the provincial Radiology Information System (RIS). CT and MRI information provided by private facilities on contract to the Saskatchewan Health Authority is also included. Each facility began reporting on a different date, so analyzing long-term trends can be difficult.
The wait time is calculated from the date the procedure is requested to the date the procedure is performed. Emergency procedures and scheduled follow-up procedures for routine screenings are excluded from the wait time calculations, but are included in the volumes of procedures performed. Wait times for emergency procedures are not reported, since the request time for these procedures is not usually recorded in the RIS.
Currently only CT and MRI wait times are reported. Although the RIS collects wait times for other types of imaging services such as ultrasound and x-rays, these are not reported because data is incomplete (due to missing information from privately-run service providers). Wait times for PET CT and nuclear medicine will be reported in the future. Additional time is required to establish the methodology, as one procedure may involve multiple visits.
Although facilities are now all on the same reporting system, there are still some improvements to the way information is recorded that could improve the accuracy of the data. For example, the ministry plans to work with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and eHealth Saskatchewan to standardize the manner in which follow-up cases are flagged.