Improving Body Imaging Throughput in the Midst of COVID-19

John V Thomas, MD; Kristin K Porter, MD, PhD; Stefanie A Woodard, DO; Aparna Singhal, MD; Mason B Frazier, MD; Desiree E Morgan, MD; Cheri L Canon, MD, FACR, FAAWR


Appl Radiol. 2020;49(5):33-35. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, many elective procedures and non-urgent ambulatory visits were rescheduled to comply with stay-at-home orders and to ensure patient and staff safety. This has created a significant backlog of patients who need service at many clinics and outpatient centers in the coming months. Hospital ambulatory clinics and radiology waiting rooms are typically crowded and not set up to facilitate physical distancing; limiting schedules severely hampers patient throughput and adversely affects ability to provide timely care and address these backlogs. In addition, many patients currently avoid hospitals for fear of contracting the virus. With COVID-19 cases not yet significantly abating in many areas, the question arises whether radiologists can safely and efficiently care for patients until a vaccine for COVID-19 is widely available.

Here we will discuss our experience using fast MRI body imaging protocols in combination with strategic use of free-standing facilities to safely reduce our patient backlog and manage our MR imaging load.