COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates: Impact on Radiology Department Operations and Mitigation Strategies

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J Am Coll Radiol


OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine mandates are being implemented in health systems across the United States, and the impact on the radiology department workforce and operations becuase of vaccine hesitancy among health care workers is currently unknown. This article discusses the potential impact of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on a large multicenter radiology department as well as strategies to mitigate those effects.

METHODS: Weekly vaccine compliance data were obtained for employees across the entire health system from August 17, 2021, through September 13, 2021, and radiology department-specific data were extracted. Vaccine compliance data was mapped to specific radiology job titles and the five different hospital locations.

RESULTS: A total of 6% of radiology department employees were not fully vaccine compliant by the initial deadline of September 10, 2021. MR technologists and radiology technology assistants had the highest initial rates of noncompliance of 37% and 38%, respectively. Vaccine noncompliance rates by the mandate deadline ranged from 0.5% to 7.0% at the five hospital sites. Only one hospital required a decrease in imaging hours of operation because of the vaccine mandate.

CONCLUSION: Despite initial concerns about the impact of vaccine mandate noncompliance on departmental operations, there was ultimately little effect because of improved vaccine compliance after the mandate. Understanding individual employee and locoregional differences in vaccine compliance can help leaders proactively develop mitigation strategies to manage this new challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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ePub ahead of print