Navigating Teleradiology, COVID-19 Guidance, and Abbreviated MRI Performance
This week, Diagnostic Imaging's coverage has continued to focus on the ongoing spread of COVID-19. This week’s coverage has included guidance on implementing teleradiology during the outbreak from the CEO of a radiology-owned alliance, reporting recommendations from the Radiological Society of North America, and research insights that continue to inform how you recognize the virus. But, this week, reporting also turned to screening efforts for women with a history of breast cancer.
Whitney Palmer: Welcome to Diagnostic Imaging’s Week in Review.
I’m Whitney Palmer, Senior Editor. As you can see, we at Diagnostic Imaging, like you, are continuing to work from home as we weather the COVID-19 outbreak. But, we are still bringing you daily coverage of news throughout the industry.
This week Diagnostic Imaging spoke with Dhruv Chopra, CEO of Collaborative Imaging, about the challenges of implementing teleradiology during COVID-19 as many of you pivot to working from home to safeguard both your patients and yourselves. CMS recently relaxed the regulations around teleradiology to make it easier in this environment, but Chopra advised you to consider how the move will affect your ability to capture reimbursement, as well as how you can hold on to your existing staff while your image volume might be fluctuating. He also offered insight into the technological options you should consider as the Internet’s bandwidth is now being taxed with most of the nation working from home.
When it comes to reporting, RSNA published guidance for when you must include COVID-19 in your CT reports. Although industry recommendations still advise against using CT for screening, in the cases when it’s appropriate, the association suggested four categories – typical features, indeterminate features, atypical features, and negative for pneumonia – that can help standardize your reporting.
Research from Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust also offered first-hand COVID-19 perspective this week in the British Medical Journal. They recommended pairing X-ray with thorough clinical history and a blood test that screens for COVID-19 markers as a front-line diagnostic test. The results can be used to determine which patients, under appropriate circumstances, might need to be screened on a designated CT scanner.
Investigators also reversed previous studies, asserting the belief that maternal-fetal COVID-19 transmission doesn’t occur might not be accurate. A study out of Wuhan Children’s Hospital confirmed via CT, X-ray, and DNA testing that newborns can contract the virus from their mother at birth. The results indicate a critical need for greater infection control measures to protect this vulnerable population.
And, lastly, abbreviated MRI has been found to be more effective in pinpointing recurrent breast cancer than mammography or ultrasound. Research from South Korea revealed the 11-minute, less expensive protocol found more invasive malignancies, including tumor in situ or nodule-negative T1 lesions, than other modalities.
For more COVID-19 coverage, as well as other radiology news and expert insights, visit DiagnosticImaging.com.
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