2020 saw 35% drop in MR procedure volume

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2020 saw 35% drop in MR procedure volume

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 11, 2021
MRI

The impact of the virus and preparation also varied geographically, with only 12% of rural area respondents experiencing a major impact on their operations, compared to 25% of urban clinicians. Over 90% of suburban respondents said their MR technologists are required to wear PPE, compared to two-thirds in rural areas.

Another impact was staff morale, which was affected by monthly case fluctuations, as well as reduced operating hours, layoffs and furloughs, mandatory sick leave and the backlog of MR patients built up from postponed exams. “We had a sudden high demand of MR exams due to the state 're-opening' restrictions," said one respondent. More patients seeing their physicians resulting in an influx of appointments with fewer staff and operating hours has put stress on the department and staff.”

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Over four-fifths indicated that even if post-COVID recovery has taken place, improving staff satisfaction and morale will be their top priority. Plans to acquire future MR scanners have also been altered in some places, with 23% seeing a decrease in funding for such purchases or experiencing operating budget reductions for MR accessories and consumables. A quarter said their original plans to order MR scanners from 2020 to 2023 have definitely or maybe changed, with some now facing possible delays in ordering and replacing units or ordering a reduced number of scanners.

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