ESR@Work May 2016
EuroSafe Imaging Stars
EuroSafe Imaging Stars is EuroSafe Imaging’s latest initiative to promote quality and safety in medical imaging by following an inclusive approach to medical radiation protection encompassing patients‘ needs, medical training curricula, public health protocols and relevant industry stakeholders. Launched in February 2016, the Stars initiative has been designed to identify and recognise imaging facilities that embody best practice in radiation protection and that are committed to putting the principles advocated and concepts developed by the European Society of Radiology into practice. EuroSafe Imaging Stars gives radiation protection efforts greater visibility while having a positive impact on clinical practice, and enables the European Society of Radiology to collect relevant data for analysing trends in medical imaging and developing future projects.
Imaging departments participating in the EuroSafe Imaging Stars initiative are required to perform a self-assessment on their level of radiation protection. The self-assessment consists of an online application form which has to be completed by the applicant department biannually. The list of criteria is divided into five sections and imaging facilities will be awarded up to five stars depending on how many criteria of a certain level they fulfil. Some of the criteria are mandatory, such as participation in the ‘Is your Imaging EuroSafe?’ as a prerequisite for becoming a EuroSafe Imaging Star. The self-assessment also includes elements like the use of CT protocols and automatic dose recording, dose optimisation, justification, equipment quality, clinical audit, or the use of a clinical decision support for imaging referral guidelines. After successful evaluation, the participating imaging departments are listed on the ‘Wall of Stars’ according to the level attained. This status is re-assessed in biannual self-evaluations.
The recruitment of potential EuroSafe Imaging Stars institutions follows a dual approach consisting of nominations by national radiology societies as well as direct applications by eligible institutions, thus giving an equal chance to leading academic hospitals and smaller clinics. Each national radiology society is invited to suggest one flagship institution in their country, while all other hospitals have the chance to directly apply online to become EuroSafe Imaging Stars, provided that the person responsible for the imaging facility is an ESR member in good standing.
The imaging departments participating in EuroSafe Imaging Stars are spread all over Europe.
Approximately 20 leading medical institutions have already embraced the project and been awarded Star status, with another 20 applications currently in the process of evaluation.
The EuroSafe Imaging Stars initiative is not just meant to afford participating institutions greater visibility through the ESR’s activities and recognition by one of the world’s largest medical societies, but to provide imaging departments with an incentive to embrace a holistic approach to quality and safety in radiology and to rally the professionals within a department around a common cause. A self-assessment that involves distinct yet related tasks like assessing the imaging equipment and maintenance needs, evaluating a clinical audit progress and improving patient’s awareness of what radiology does for them is a process that requires imaging departments’ staff to work together as a team.