When will things return to "normal"? 5 tips for safely resuming non-urgent imaging

Areas across the nation are relaxing COVID-19 lockdowns, and many radiology practices are looking to safely resume non-emergent procedures.

In response, the American College of Radiology released a “Statement on Safe Resumption of Routine Radiology Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Download the full text here.

Here are the five major takeaways:

1. Success requires collaboration.

Radiology practices should work closely with local hospitals, referring providers, and patients to develop appropriate solutions for resuming non-urgent care.

Bottom line -- there is no one best strategy since each community or region will have different needs, so it's important to pay attention and adapt in real-time.

2. Implement safety measures and restrictions.

Continue to follow CDC recommendations for infection control. Screen patients and staff for COVID-19 symptoms during scheduling and at the imaging facility. Provide sufficient PPE as needed. Facilities may restrict visitors, or allow remote work whenever possible.

3. Address ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

Patients or staff may feel afraid or anxious about returning to work or visiting health facilities after the COVID-19 pandemic. Imaging practices can help by:

  • Acknowledging that such fears are normal

  • Providing frequent, calm, fact-based information on COVID-19 and its low risk with most imaging

  • Explaining the facility’s infection control processes

4. Use a tiered plan for resuming non-urgent radiology care.

Radiology practices may need to prioritize different non-urgent cases, such as scheduling time-sensitive care over elective screening. You should also address any order backlogs with:

  • Extended hours of operations

  • Modified scheduling

  • Partnerships with other imaging providers

5. Stay flexible.

Because additional COVID-19 peaks are possible, your radiology practice should monitor the local data and prepare to pivot in response to changes. Imaging providers should weigh risks and benefits for the practice and individual patients, and restrict non-urgent care again if needed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many health facilities and practices rethinking the way they do business and provide care. Learn how you can use our CD-free image sharing solution CryptoChart to reduce human-to-human contact and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as you resume regular operations. Watch the webinar on-demand here. Contact us today to learn more.

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