Radiology Department Preparedness, Protecting Imaging Equipment, and ACR Guidance
This week, Diagnostic Imaging's coverage has focused heavily on the continue spread of COVID-19, including one academic medical center's plan to protect faculty members, residents, students, and patients, detailed information about how the virus that causes COVID-19 interacts with various surfaces, and extended guidance from the American College of Radiology on how to handle imaging during the pandemic.
Whitney Palmer: Welcome to Diagnostic Imaging’s Week in Review.
I’m Whitney Palmer, Senior Editor. Please excuse the dressed-down appearance as, like much of the U.S. workforce, Diagnostic Imaging’s editorial staff has pivoted to working remote as part of the continued national effort to control the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
To help radiologists plan for the best way to safeguard themselves, their practice or departments, and their patients, Diagnostic Imaging spoke this week with Dr. Arun Krishnaraj, vice chair of quality and safety for UVA Health. He shared his department’s plan for combatting the virus. Until further notice, his department has implemented a staggered work schedule in which the faculty rotate between working at home or in the hospital on a weekly basis. They’ve also assigned workstations and divided their reading room and have implemented restricted access to their reading room to promote social distancing.
In an effort to understand how your radiology equipment will be impacted during this outbreak, Diagnostic Imaging published guidance from the National Institutes of Health on how the lifespan of the virus that causes COVID-19 differs based upon the kind of imaging equipment surface. Of particular concern, the novel coronavirus can live up to three days on stainless steel and plastic, as well as up to three hours in aerosols. These details stress the importance of proper ventilation in imaging rooms, decommissioning rooms between patients, and sanitizing the modalities, particularly as your case volume continues to rise.
And, lastly Diagnostic Imaging brought you COVID-19 guidance issued by the American College of Radiology. In addition to reiterating that CT imaging should not be used to screen or diagnose COVID-19 infection, the ACR also encouraged you to postpone all non-emergent imaging. That includes screening mammograms, lung cancer screening, ultrasound, non-urgent CT, and plain film X-rays. If you’re doing breast imaging, space your appointments out to allow for adequate cleaning. Also, be sure you’re practicing social distancing as much as possible and maintaining good hand hygiene.
For more information about the impact of COVID-19 on radiology, as well as expert and industry insight, visit DiagnosticImaging.com.
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