How to manage radiology during the coronavirus outbreak

Updated: Mar 25

How should radiology leaders manage their departments and teams during the coronavirus outbreak? Experts across the globe have identified several key priorities.

1. Limit potential exposure.

Of course, when dealing with a novel and highly communicable virus such as COVID-19, the top priority is to minimize the spread and limit exposure.

Imaging should be conducted in isolated areas or with portable methods, when possible. Imaging departments may need to reschedule nonemergent procedures.

When it comes to sharing imaging studies or reports, try to minimize human contact. Non-physical methods of sharing, like QR codes with Novarad's CryptoChart product, should be used wherever possible.

2. Communication is key.

Radiology departments and imaging centers must share information with staff quickly to stay efficient and reduce inaccurate rumors. Options include in-person or virtual meetings, emails, or texting.

Part-time workers and research assistants often get overlooked, so radiology departments should take care to include them in all information sharing.

3. Be aware of emotional responses.

In the American Journal of Roentgenology, a team from Singapore General Hospital share advice based on their experience during the 2003 SARS outbreak. The authors stressed the importance of radiology teams watching out for each other.

This includes being mindful of individuals who have particular concerns, such as those with young children at home or who are caring for elderly loved ones.

4. Use imaging prudently.

In a March 16 report in Radiology, The University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle pointed out that real-time-polymerase chain reaction is a faster, more accurate method of COVID-19 testing compared to chest CT imaging.

The report authors recommend that CT imaging be reserved for cases “where it will impact patient management and is clinically indicated or evaluate for unrelated urgent/emergent indications.”

With the appropriate measures, radiology departments can keep their teams strong in an uncertain time. As the coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt healthcare, medical imaging departments are seeking new solutions to preserve safety, flexibility, and profitability.

Contact Novarad to find out how our suite of enterprise imaging solutions can help transform your radiology practice. Learn more about how you can use QR codes (instead of CDs) to securely and quickly share images in the video below:

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