ESR@Work May 2015
EuroSafe Imaging Roadmap 2015-2016
Following the celebrations of its first anniversary at ECR 2015, the ESR’s EuroSafe Imaging campaign is working on implementing its mission of strengthening and supporting medical radiation protection in the coming year. The EuroSafe Imaging roadmap for 2015-16 defines the priorities for the ESR and its partners to focus on within the framework of the Call for Action published in 2014.
Raising awareness of the importance of radiation protection is a central objective of the campaign, and to do so effective communication is essential. The first priority of the roadmap is therefore to improve the EuroSafe Imaging website by making it more user-friendly, particularly for patients, and developing more informative and interactive content. The EuroSafe Imaging Steering Committee is in the process of setting up working groups dedicated to developing new and improving existing sections of the website to increase the number of Friends of EuroSafe Imaging through increased outreach and visibility.
The second item on the roadmap is to develop guidelines for communicating with patients, which ties in closely with the expansion of the website content. As a 2013 ESR survey on patient communication shows, there is significant room for improvement, as only one third of radiologists receive training on communicating with patients. The aim of providing guidelines on this subject is to support radiologists with aspects of daily practice such as giving bad news to patients or explaining the benefits and risks of a specific exam in an easily understandable fashion for the average patient. This will be done in close collaboration with the ESR Patient Advisory Group.
Dose management lies at the heart of radiation protection in diagnostic imaging, which is why EuroSafe Imaging is initiating a project focusing on aspects including procedure performance, patient monitoring, documentation and follow-up.
The ESR will also continue its efforts to collect data on CT doses through the ‘Is your Imaging EuroSafe?’ survey series. The data collected through these surveys will be used for benchmarking to enable radiology departments across Europe to see how their performance compares. Preliminary results for Head CT for Acute Stroke presented at ECR 2015 showed that around one quarter of imaging departments exceed the reported dose averages.
The roadmap also commits EuroSafe Imaging to continue to contribute to the work on diagnostic reference levels (DRLs). In addition to leading a European Commission tender project on paediatric DRLs (PiDRL), EuroSafe Imaging will liaise with the ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection), the IAEA and the European Commission to focus on improving the way DRLs are used in daily practice.
Radiation protection in paediatric imaging is an issue of particular concern for EuroSafe Imaging, which is why including paediatric patients front and centre is a further key aspect of the campaign’s current action plan. In cooperation with the European Society of Paediatric Radiology (ESPR), the ESR is exploring ways to initiate new projects in this area and to use EuroSafe Imaging as an information platform for professionals as well as patients and carers, for example by contributing to the International Day of Radiology 2015, which is dedicated to paediatric imaging.
In addition, a new concept called ‚EuroSafe Imaging Stars‘ will be launched this year, which aims at creating a network of key institutions across Europe with strong medical physicists and radiographers who are willing to support EuroSafe Imaging by providing information for data collection and benchmarking. Furthermore, qualitative interviews are envisaged to investigate key issues on medical radiation protection. The participating institutions will be named ‚EuroSafe Imaging Stars‘, and acknowledged on the EuroSafe Imaging website and in media and press activities.