Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic: Review of Guidelines for Resuming Non-urgent Imaging and Procedures in Radiology During Phase 2
Journal Article - Open Access
MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER TACOMA WA TACOMA United States
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Since the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 was designated as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, health care systems have been forced to adapt rapidly to defer less urgent care during the crisis. The United States U.S. has adopted a four-phase approach to decreasing and then resuming non-essential work. Through strong restrictive measures, Phase I slowed the spread of disease, allowing states to safely diagnose, isolate, and treat patients with COVID-19. In support of social distancing measures, non-urgent studies were postponed, and this created a backlog. Now, as states transition to Phase II, restrictions on non-essential activities will ease, and radiology departments must re-establish care while continuing to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission all while accommodating this backlog. In this article, we propose a roadmap that incorporates the current practice guidelines and subject matter consensus statements for the phased reopening of non-urgent and elective radiology services. This roadmap will focus on operationalizing these recommendations for patient care and workforce management. Tiered systems are proposed for the prioritization of elective procedures, with physician-to-physician communication encouraged. Infection control methods, provision of personal protective equipment PPE, and physical distancing measures are highlighted. Finally, changes in hours of operation, hiring strategies, and remote reading services are discussed for their potential to ease the transition to normal operations.
- Medicine and Medical Research