Consensus Guidance for Nuclear Medicine Departments, Staff, and Patients (6,17,2025)

Managing nuclear medicine departmentNuclear medicine staffPatients attending nuclear medicine center
Promote and practice social distancing (2 m or 6 ft)Train in infection controlScreen patients and visitors before they enter department
Assess risk at local level, with local context taken into consideration (should not replace or reduce ability to provide optimal patient or staff safety)Promote and practice social distancing (2 m or 6 ft)Make initial risk assessment of patient by phone, when possible
Coordinate transmission of information between hospital information control department and nuclear medicine departmentMinimize crowding in workplace (e.g., tea or lunch breaks)Ask patients to inform nuclear medicine department if patient or family members develop symptoms before scheduled appointment
Ask referring clinicians to clearly indicate whether scans are urgent or nonurgent when requesting themMaintain (6 ft or 2 m) distance in all patient and staff interactions when possibleDisplay posters in department reception area to promote hand washing and good respiratory hygiene measures
Train all staff members to ensure maximum compliance and vigilance in line with local guidanceConsider need for contact and droplet precautions (based on nature of task being undertaken)Promote social distancing (2 m or 6 ft)
Provide clear guidance to staff on how to proceed when patient COVID-19 status is unknown and COVID-19 is circulating at high levelsPractice strict hand hygiene, which should be extended to exposed forearms, after removing any element of PPERecommend patient use of fluid-resistant surgical face mask (to minimize dispersal of respiratory secretions and to reduce both direct transmission risk and environmental contamination)
Establish local policy to reschedule nonurgent appointmentsHave access to PPEAsk patients to maintain strict hand hygiene
Display posters to promote hand washing and good respiratory hygiene measures within departmentTrain on donning and doffing PPEAsk patients to minimize accompanying visitors and patient escorts
Allocate or make provision for separate space for patients with suspected or known COVID-19 statusPut on appropriate PPE before providing careGive patients telehealth option (teleclinics to provide reassurance and guidance)
Develop clear escalation pathway to ensure cases are identified in timely manner and triagedKnow what PPE staff should wear for each setting and contextInform and reschedule nonurgent appointments
Implement stringent local hospital policy for screening of staff, patients, and visitors before they enter departmentAdopt single-use policy for gloves and apronsInform and reschedule elective therapies
Implement stringent local hospital policy to minimize nonessential visitors in departmentTake regular breaks and rest periodsEnsure that patients spend minimum time in department (do not allow patients to remain for long periods in waiting area)
Provide PPE for staff and patients (because of concern about asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19)Remain connected with rest of staff or with friends and family via group email, e-portal or social media
Make sure supplies are available, and check stock every day and during day (centralize storage and distribution)Make sure nuclear medicine physicians or radiologists are familiar with CT appearance of COVID-19
Implement robust policy for cleaning and decontaminating imaging equipmentCheck PET/CT and SPECT/CT scans for CT changes in lungs before sending patient home
Explore options and encourage reporting of scans from remote sites or home, whenever feasible, according to local policyBe supportive and caring; nominate staff to look after staff well-being
Encourage use of virtual conference tools for multidisciplinary or educational meetings
Provide for flexible staff-schedule rotation (on-site and off-site work, work in small groups)
Provide relevant, regular, and reliable updates daily
Develop contingency and business continuity plan
  • These are examples based on consensus only, and responsibility lies with each institution or hospital to ensure its written policy adheres to that outlined by national public health guidance in its respective country and hospital.