Impact of COVID-19 on Breast Imaging Practice Operations and Recovery Efforts: A North American Study

Katerina Dodelzon, Lars J. Grimm, Khai Tran, Brian N. Dontchos, Stamatia Destounis, Vandana Dialani, Basak Dogan, Emily Sonnenblick, Margarita Zuley, Hannah S. Milch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on breast imaging facilities' operations and recovery efforts across North America. Methods: A survey on breast imaging facilities' operations and strategies for recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic was distributed to the membership of the Society of Breast Imaging and National Consortium of Breast Centers from June 4, 2020, to July 14, 2020. A descriptive summary of responses was performed. Comparisons were made between demographic variables of respondents and questions of interest using a Pearson chi-square test. Results: There were 473 survey respondents (response rate of 13%). The majority of respondents (70%; 332/473) reported 80%-100% breast imaging volume reduction, with 94% (447/473) reporting postponement of screening mammography. The majority of respondents (97%; 457/473) continued to perform biopsies. There were regional differences in safety measures taken for staff (P = 0.004), with practices in the West more likely reporting no changes in the work environment compared to other regions. The most common changes to patients' experience included spacing out of furniture in waiting rooms (94%; 445/473), limiting visitors (91%; 430/473), and spacing out appointments (83%). A significantly higher proportion of practices in the Northeast (95%; 104/109) initiated patient scheduling changes compared to other regions (P = 0.004). Conclusion: COVID-19 had an acute impact on breast imaging facilities. Although common national operational patterns emerged, geographic variability was notable in particular in recovery efforts. These findings may inform future best practices for delivering breast imaging care amid the ongoing and geographically shifting COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-167
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Breast Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • COVID-19
  • breast imaging
  • diagnostic breast imaging
  • operations
  • recovery
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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