Echocardiography service provision in New Zealand: capacity modelling the cardiac sonographer workforce

Buckley, B., Farnworth, M.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-6226-0818 and Whalley, G., 2016. Echocardiography service provision in New Zealand: capacity modelling the cardiac sonographer workforce. New Zealand Medical Journal, 129 (1428), pp. 16-24. ISSN 1175-8716

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Abstract

Aim: Regional disparity in both utilisation and the cardiac sonographer workforce has previously been identified. We sought to model the capacity of the cardiac sonographer workforce at a national and District Health Board level to better understand these regional differences.
Method: In 2013, surveys were distributed to 18 hospitals who employ cardiac sonographers (return rate 100%). Questions related to cardiac sonographer demographics, echo utilisation and workflow. Actual clinical capacity was calculated from scan duration and annual scan volumes. New Zealand national actual capacity was compared to predicted capacity from three international models. Potential clinical capacity was calculated from the workforce size in fulltime equivalent (FTE) and clinical availability.
Results: In New Zealand, scan duration and population-based clinical capacity varies between centres. The New Zealand capacity is similar to the UK 30:70 model, and consistently less than the US model for all scan types. There are marked regional differences in potential versus actual capacity, with 10/16 DHBs demonstrating excess potential capacity.
Conclusion: There is regional disparity in the capacity of the cardiac sonographer workforce, which appears to be strongly related to scan duration. Workforce capacity modelling should be used with need and demand modelling to plan adequate levels of service provision.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: New Zealand Medical Journal
Creators: Buckley, B., Farnworth, M.J. and Whalley, G.
Publisher: New Zealand Medical Association
Date: 8 January 2016
Volume: 129
Number: 1428
ISSN: 1175-8716
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 26 Feb 2018 15:48
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2018 15:48
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/32808

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