Recommendations for resumption of echocardiographic services during COVID-19 – A CSE position paper

In response to the COVID pandemic, echocardiographic facilities across Canada have drastically reduced their activity in compliance with hospital and public health directives. This required deferral of large volumes of previously scheduled examinations. With the easing of restrictions, providers of echocardiographic services are now faced with the dual challenges of modifying service provision in a manner that ensures compliance with public health requirements, while engaging the accumulated backlog of deferred examinations. These deferred examinations themselves pose a patient safety risk in that the identification of significant pathology may be delayed, and must be engaged as new referrals continue to be received. This necessitates an expansion of activity relative to previous levels.

This document has been developed with the intention of providing recommendations to guide the resumption of activity within this environment, and rational engagement of deferred examinations. It is recognized that echocardiography is provided in a variety of settings, and that marked interprovincial and even regional differences exist which impact service delivery and will influence the manner in which these recommendations are implemented.

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