In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for imaging services has been turned on its head, with the number of imaging exams being reduced between 40 and 90 percent. According to a special new report from the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), these decreases are likely to persist for a significant amount of time, but there are precautions imaging workers can take to best navigate and protect themselves during the “new normal.”

The RSNA recommends postponing all non-urgent outpatient imaging, including mammography, lung cancer screening, and CT colonoscopy. This is to conserve personal protective equipment and staff resources, and protect facility staff and patients from possible exposure.

All symptomatic patients should be imaged with a portable device when possible in an isolation room.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 to pregnant imaging workers, they should be redeployed to facilities with low numbers of virus-positive patients.

To prevent burnout among imaging workers, department leaders should routinely observe staff members’ mental health and morale, and maintain consistent communication with them. Weekly meetings are an effective way for the department to communicate concerns and questions and for leaders to deliver policy updates.

Read the complete report here.