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Diagnostic Imaging's Weekly Scan: June 19, 2020

Welcome back to Diagnostic Imaging’s Weekly Scan. I’m senior editor Whitney Palmer, and we’re back again with you this week with the latest in radiology news and guidance.

In the past week, news has emerged about the growing number of mammography practices that are opening up to provide needed screening services to patients. In fact, one analysis from breast imaging analytics company Volpara Solutions revealed that more than three-quarters of mammography practices are already operating within 10 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels. To help facilities that offer these breast imaging services, Diagnostic Imaging spoke with leaders from three facilities to identify some best practices that can help you most effectively, safely, and successfully re-open your practice. Leaders from Rome Memorial Hospital in New York, Oregon Imaging Center, and the University of British Columbia shared their personal experiences and outlined nine best practices for bringing more patients in to your office. Their guidance fell into several categories: patient contact and screening, personal protective equipment and safety measure that limit visitors and control patient belongings, changes to work hours and barrier installations that can limit patient contact, phased beginnings, and investments in new equipment.

Although we know much more about this pandemic than several months ago, questions are still swirling about how it will affect practices and workflow in the near to long-term future. To provide some clarity – or at least direction – for this mystery, experts from the American College of Radiology’s Commission on General, Small, Emergency and/or Rural Practice published insights in the Journal of the American College of Radiology about what practice might be able to expect in the coming months. Groups could find themselves faced with having to change recruitment efforts or pause employment offers. The leaders also touched on strategies that could help practices triage imaging studies in an effort to grow volume levels. They warned against greater consolidation in the industry, and they high-lighted some changes that could be permanent, such as more remote work options and more stringent cleaning and protection protocols.