COVID-19 (Referrers)

In the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, Global Diagnostics is continuing to provide radiology services at all of our clinics within our communities, to patients not affected by the Coronavirus or considered ‘high-risk’. We are constantly monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic globally, implementing the latest State and Federal Government advice, and adding extra precautionary measures to maintain a safe environment for our patients and staff.  We have implemented new policies and procedures to reduce the risk associated with COVID-19:

Electronic Referrals

Click here to access Global Diagnostics electronic online referrals.

Global Diagnostics is encouraging referrers and patients to send their referral paperwork electronically. This helps to keep our staff from unnecessary handling of items.

Fax: (08) 9726 6926

 

In response to increasing Telehealth appointments and in line with Medicare’s recent advice, GDA is accepting unsigned image requests emailed directly from the Doctors email or main practice email address. No paper copy is necessary to reduce contact between staff and patients.

 

If you see a patient who does not meet any of the COVID-19 screening criteria and needs an x-ray they can still walk-in for an appointment.

 

Request Forms - MUST INCLUDE details of: 

  • Respiratory symptoms 
  • If a patient is suspect COVID-19 
  • Undertaking testing for COVID-19 (please also consider if imaging can be deferred until the result is known) 

This enables us to ensure we undertake appropriate arrangements in regard to PPE and can inform patients what to expect when they arrive for their imaging. 

Waiting Room and Attendance Protocol

We are taking extra precautions to minimise infection within our clinics and are ensuring our waiting areas are regularly disinfected. We have an ample supply of hand sanitiser for both staff and patient use. You can be assured that every hygiene measure is taken to ensure the safety of patients in our clinics. We are practicing social distancing in all of our waiting rooms under government guidelines.

GDA is also encouraging patients to attend appointments by themselves, where possible. Exceptions will be:      

  • Underage patients can have a single family member attend
  • Where a patient is having a procedure and needs a driver/helper
  • A patient who needs the help of a carer to attend
  • Obstetric patients can bring one family members
Emphasis of strict hygiene protocols

All employees and patients are being asked to practice increased care with hygiene and infection control and are providing hand sanitiser throughout our clinics, displaying hand washing guides and other reminder notices in centres.

Referring of Patients with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Infection for Medical Imaging

With the high presentation of confirmed or suspect COVID-19 case it is important to know a couple of key facts when deciding on referral pathways:

  1. Please be aware that chest CT and chest radiography (x-ray) are not accurate for the diagnosis of COVID–19 disease in either early or advanced stages nor for distinguishing it from other causes of community - acquired pneumonia. Medical imaging is useful for detecting complications, such as empyema, or for monitoring the progress of severe COVID–19 disease in hospitalised patients and for distinguishing pneumonia from other causes of similar symptoms, such as malignancy or pulmonary embolism.

  1. If your patient does not meet CURRENT criteria for nasal swab PCR testing based on being a suspected case, chest imaging is not an acceptable substitute for COVID–19 diagnosis because
    1. Medical imaging (chest x-ray or CT) is insensitive for early disease
    2. Medical imaging is non – specific for COVID–19 when lower respiratory tract abnormalities are present

  1. If your patient has:
  • Fever / high temperature / chills OR
  • Flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue OR
  • Shortness of breath

  1. If you have a patient with non COVID-19 related chest conditions that need chest imaging please refer as normal.
Patient Screening

We are carefully assessing each patient’s individual risk to provide the best care and ask that you continue to refer your patients to our clinics. Providing they do not meet the criteria of a high-risk patient, as outlined by the Australian Health Department below:

  1. Been on Cruise in the last 14 days 
  2. Travelled in the last 14 days  (WA – Interstate since 24th March 2020)
  3. Contact with confirmed or suspected cases 
  4. They meet the ANY of clinical criteria: 
  • Fever,  
  • Acute Respiratory Infection with OR without fever – e.g.: 
    • Shortness of breath 
    • Cough,
    • Sore throat, 
    • ​​​​​​​Any other cold/flu-like symptoms including pneumonia 
Cortisone Injections to be Stopped

There has been a directive from Dr D.J Russell-Weisz, Director General of the WA Department of Health to stop all non-essential elective procedures so we will no longer be doing any cortisone injections at Peel Health Campus, Bunbury Region Hospital and Busselton Health Campus. This will help with preparation for the influx of COVID-19 patients. If you have a patient that you feel is needs a clinically urgent cortisone injection, please call the relevant GDA site and ask to speak to the duty Radiologist, who can assess this and potentially book this patient if required.

 

FNA’s and biopsies are still fine to book, especially if there is suspicion of malignancy etc.

 

Peel Specialist Centre & Kwinana can still take all procedure bookings as normal.

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