Feature | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | July 15, 2020 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane

Imaging Volumes Continue to Improve Post COVID-19 Closures

This data represents wave 3 of a QuickPoLL survey conducted in partnership with an imagePRO panel created by The MarkeTech Group (TMTG), regarding the effects of COVID-19 on their business

This data represents wave 3 of a QuickPoLL survey conducted in partnership with an imagePRO panel created by The MarkeTech Group (TMTG), regarding the effects of COVID-19 on their business

Getty Images

Imaging volumes in hospitals and practices previously slowed by the coronavirus pandemic continue to improve, according to new QuickPoLL survey results that gauge how radiologists feel about current business and the impact of COVID-19. The data compares results from the second wave, May 16-31, to the third wave, June 1-15.

Responses were tallied from approximately 170 radiology administrators and business managers, who are part of an imagePRO panel created by The MarkeTech Group (TMTG), regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business. TMTG is a research firm specializing in the medical device, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Participants were selected as a representative cross-section of the imaging industry. The panel was asked nine questions about their current business to gauge the imaging impact by COVID-19, and the work that lies on the road ahead.

Imaging Volumes Increase

A key takeaway from wave 2 indicates that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and portable X-ray study volumes have improved from wave 2. Outpatient/elective radiology (eg: scheduled studies) and inpatient radiology (eg: ER, bedside and ICU) also showed improvement in wave 3. Screening radiology (eg: mammography) has seen the least impact of improvement compared with other areas. For a complete comparison of screening volume change for this period, see Table 1.

Table 1: This table shows the study volume change for the time period Jun 1-15, 2020, as compared to the same time period in 2019.

 

Surge Uptick in Imaging Services

Survey participants continue to process a surge of outpatient imaging procedures — 46 percent currently experiencing these surges — due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the QuickPoLL results. TMTG defined “surge” as a much larger volume of studies per day than what was experienced before COVID-19. Seventeen percent expecting it to occur in three weeks or more. See Table 2.

Table 2: This table shows wave 3 survey results of when survey respondents expect to see a surge in imaging services.

 

Extended hours of operations and increasing workflow efficiency remain the primary methods to manage the surge. When asked if a surge of outpatient imaging procedures materializes, what would be the primary method to manage/address the surge, 42 percent of respondents said they would extend hours of operation. Thirty-five percent would create a more efficient workflow; 3 percent would hire more staff; and 15 percent would do nothing, believing that there will be no surge of outpatient imaging procedures. These figures from wave 3 remain fairly stagnant over waves 1 and 2, reported previously. See Table 3.

Table 3: Wave 3 survey results on how respondents plan to manage and address the surge in imaging services.

 

Poll participants were also asked about the current imaging capacity, defined as percentage of use of imaging modalities during business hours, at their outpatient diagnostic imaging centers (DIC). Eighty to 99 percent of respondents reported that imaging capacity utilization is currently at 28 percent. See Table 4.

Table 4: Responses for wave 3 on current imaging capacity at outpatient diagnostic imaging centers.

 

COVID-19’s Long-lasting Impact

Imaging centers continue to struggle to recover from the lasting impacts of COVID-19. Numbers indicate that the trend is moving toward the surge happening now versus never happening. Facilities continue to extend hours of operation and create a more efficient workflow to manage this increase of volume. Imaging Technology News, in partnership with The MarkeTech Group, will continue to keep you periodically updated on these pandemic imaging trends throughout July.

You can find more information on The MarkeTech Group and services offered at www.themarketechgroup.com/en/solutions/imagepro-products.

 

Related COVID-19 Survey Content:

Insight on the Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Imaging

The Continued Impact of COVID-19 on the Imaging Industry

Related Coronavirus Content:

VIDEO: Imaging COVID-19 With Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS)

Cardiac Imaging Best Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic

RSNA Publishes COVID-19 Best Practices for Radiology Departments

ASE Guidelines for the Protection of Echocardiography Providers During the COVID-19 Outbreak
New CT Scoring Criteria for Timely Diagnosis, Treatment of Coronavirus Disease

FDA Issues New Policy for Imaging Systems During COVID-19

VIDEO: COVID-19 Precautions for Cardiac Imaging —  Interview with Stephen Bloom, M.D.

A Review of Studies Cautions Against Chest CT for Coronavirus Diagnosis

New Research Finds Chest X-ray Not Reliable Diagnostic Tool for COVID-19

VIDEO: Radiology Industry Responding to COVID-19

University of Washington Issues Radiology Policies for COVID-19

VIDEO: Best Practices for Nuclear Cardiology During the COVID-19 Pandemic — Interview with Hicham Skali, M.D.

New Research Highlights Blood Clot Dangers of COVID-19

Survey Reveals Most Medical Practices are Now Using Telehealth Due to COVID-19

CMS Offers Recommendations on Reopening Healthcare in Areas of Low COVID-19 Cases

CT Provides Best Diagnosis for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Radiology Lessons for Coronavirus From the SARS and MERS Epidemics

Radiologists Describe Coronavirus CT Imaging Features

CT Imaging of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Pneumonia

ACC COVID-19 recommendations for the cardiovascular care team

VIDEO: What Cardiologists Need to Know about COVID-19 — Interview with Thomas Maddox, M.D.

The Cardiac Implications of Novel Coronavirus

Related Content

Medical researchers at Flinders University have established a new link between high body mass index (BMI) and breast cancer survival rates — with clinical data revealing worse outcomes for early breast cancer (EBC) patients and improved survival rates in advanced breast cancer (ABC).

Getty Images

News | Women's Health | May 13, 2021
May 13, 2021 — Medical researchers at Flinders University
News | Artificial Intelligence | May 11, 2021
May 11, 2021 — Whiterabbit, an AI technology company focused on early...
National Imaging Solutions, a recognized leader in medical imaging and radiology solutions, announced it has acquired DynaRad — the oldest manufacturer of portable X-ray systems in the US. This new investment will allow National Imaging Solutions to support its customers by supplying them with DynaRad portable X-ray machines, including a mobile field X-ray device using nanotube technology.
News | Radiology Business | May 11, 2021
May 11, 2021 — ...