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Emerg Radiol ; 27(6): 765-772, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738684


PURPOSE: To illustrate the change in emergency department (ED) imaging utilization at a multicenter health system in the state of Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A retrospective observational study was conducted assessing ED imaging volumes between March 1, 2020, and May 11, 2020, during the COVID-19 crisis. A rolling 7-day total value was used for volume tracking and comparison. Total imaging utilization in the ED was compared with new COVID-19 cases in our region. Utilization was first categorized by modality and then by plain films and computed tomography (CT) scans grouped by body part. CT imaging of the chest was specifically investigated by assessing both CT chest only exams and CT chest, abdomen, and pelvis (C/A/P) exams. Ultimately, matching pair-wise statistical analysis of exam volumes was performed to assess significance of volume change. RESULTS: Our multicenter health system experienced a 46% drop in imaging utilization (p < 0.0001) during the pandemic. Matching pair-wise analysis showed a statistically significant volume decrease by each modality and body part. The exceptions were non-contrast chest CT, which increased (p = 0.0053), and non-trauma C/A/P CT, which did not show a statistically significant volume change (p = 0.0633). CONCLUSION: ED imaging utilization trends revealed through actual health system data will help inform evidence-based decisions for more accurate volume predictions and therefore institutional preparedness for current and future pandemics.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Diagnostic Imaging/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Humans , Ohio/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Utilization Review
Acad Radiol ; 27(9): 1204-1213, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-635221


RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Predictive models and anecdotal articles suggest radiology practices were losing 50%-70% of their normal imaging volume during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using actual institutional data, we investigated the change in imaging utilization and revenue during this public health crisis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Imaging performed within the 8-week span between March 8 and April 30, 2020 was categorized into the COVID-19 healthcare crisis timeframe. The first week of this date range and the 10 weeks prior were used to derive the normal practice expected volume. A rolling 7-day total value was used for volume tracking and comparison. Total imaging utilization was derived and organized by patient setting (outpatient, inpatient, emergency) and imaging modality (X-ray, CT, Mammography, MRI, Nuclear Medicine/PET, US). The three highest volume hospitals were analyzed. Revenue information was collected from the hospital billing system. RESULTS: System-wide imaging volume decreased by 55% between April 7 and 13, 2020. Outpatient exams decreased by 68% relative to normal practice. Emergency exams decreased by 48% and inpatient exams declined by 31%. Mammograms and nuclear medicine scans were the most affected modalities, decreasing by 93% and 61%, respectively. The main campus hospital experienced less relative imaging volume loss compared to the other smaller and outpatient-driven hospitals. At its lowest point, the technical component revenue from main campus imaging services demonstrated a 49% negative variance from normal practice. CONCLUSION: The trends and magnitude of the actual imaging utilization data presented will help inform evidence-based decisions for more accurate volume predictions, policy changes, and institutional preparedness for current and future pandemics.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19 , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Pandemics , Radiology Department, Hospital , Radionuclide Imaging , SARS-CoV-2
Breast Cancer Res Treat ; 181(3): 487-497, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-116756


The COVID-19 pandemic presents clinicians a unique set of challenges in managing breast cancer (BC) patients. As hospital resources and staff become more limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes critically important to define which BC patients require more urgent care and which patients can wait for treatment until the pandemic is over. In this Special Communication, we use expert opinion of representatives from multiple cancer care organizations to categorize BC patients into priority levels (A, B, C) for urgency of care across all specialties. Additionally, we provide treatment recommendations for each of these patient scenarios. Priority A patients have conditions that are immediately life threatening or symptomatic requiring urgent treatment. Priority B patients have conditions that do not require immediate treatment but should start treatment before the pandemic is over. Priority C patients have conditions that can be safely deferred until the pandemic is over. The implementation of these recommendations for patient triage, which are based on the highest level available evidence, must be adapted to current availability of hospital resources and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in each region of the country. Additionally, the risk of disease progression and worse outcomes for patients need to be weighed against the risk of patient and staff exposure to SARS CoV-2 (virus associated with the COVID-19 pandemic). Physicians should use these recommendations to prioritize care for their BC patients and adapt treatment recommendations to the local context at their hospital.

Breast Neoplasms/classification , Breast Neoplasms/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Breast Neoplasms/pathology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Health Resources , Humans , Neoplasm Invasiveness , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine , Triage