Hicham Skali, M.D., a staff cardiologist and member of the Non-invasive Cardiovascular Imaging Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and at Brigham and Women’s / Massachusetts General Health Care Center at Foxborough, explains the new recommendations from the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) and from imagers in China and Singapore. The ASNC created a best practices document for nuclear cardiology laboratories during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. The suggestions in the guidelines can ally to any imaging modality, including computed tomography (CT), MRI and ultrasound.
Skali elaborates on the following points in his discussion, which are specific recommendations in the ASNC and SNMMI COVID-19 guidance document:
• Rescheduling non-urgent visits
• Rescheduling elective surgeries and procedures
• Using separate spaces for patients with known or suspected COVID-19 to prevent spread
• Ensuring supplies are available
• Promoting use of telehealth
• Screen staff, patients and visitors before they enter the department
• Minimize non-essential visitors into the department
• Record symptoms at the start of the shift
• Use personal protective equipment (PPE)for healthcare personnel
• If available, use PPE for patients due to concern of asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19
• Maintain strict hand hygiene
• Maintain 6 feet distance in all patient/staff interactions when possible
• Work remotely whenever feasible, especially with ready studies
• Rotating staff schedules for on-site and off-site work
• Use of rest only studies if possible
• Use of half-time SPECT to speed exam times
• Use of PET if available to speed exam times
Skali served as the moderator in for the ASNC on demand webinar COVID-19 Preparedness for Nuclear Cardiology Labs: Insights from the US, China and Singapore.
VIDEO: Telemedicine in Cardiology and Medical Imaging During COVID-19 — Interview with Regina Druz, M.D., an ASNC Board member and also a speaker during the ASNC webinar.