Comparison of US utilization and technical costs before and after establishment of 24-hour in-house coverage for US examinations

John P McGahan, M. S. Cronan, John R Richards, C. D. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To compare data regarding the cost and number of ultrasonographic (US) examinations performed for 6 months, before and after institution of 24-hour in-house sonographer coverage. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data for a 6-month period during which US services were provided by a sonographer on call from 11 PM to 7 AM were compared with data for a 6-month period during which a sonographer was in house during this shift. RESULTS: With 11 PM to 7 AM on-call coverage, the sonographers performed 147 examinations in a 6-month period, an average of 0.81 examination per shift. After institution of in-house coverage for this shift, 792 US examinations were performed in 6 months, an average of 4.3 examinations per shift. The cost for 11 PM to 7 AM in-house sonographer coverage for 6 months was approximately $16,000 more than that for on-call coverage. This cost would be offset by revenues from one additional examination per night. The cost per examination for the 11 PM to 7 AM shift decreased from $124.70 to $43.33. CONCLUSION: At the authors' institution, 24-hour in-house sonographer coverage resulted in additional cost, which was offset by revenues from additional examinations. There was nearly a fivefold increase in the number of US examinations performed per shift. These examinations were performed more expediently, enabling more rapid patient triage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)788-791
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Emergency medical service system
  • Radiology and radiologists, departmental management
  • Ultrasound (US), utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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