EuroSafe Imaging Update, November 2014
The EuroSafe Imaging Call for Action details the ESR’s strategy to put into practice EuroSafe Imaging’s mission of promoting appropriateness, maintaining doses within diagnostic reference levels, promoting the use of up-to-date equipment, and empowering patients. Significant progress has been made on several of the 12 action points.
Conceived as an awareness campaign, communicating EuroSafe Imaging’s efforts to improve quality and safety in medical imaging is essential. As part of these PR activities, the ESR Office created a promotional video on EuroSafe Imaging containing excerpts from interviews with stakeholders representing radiology, radiography, medical physics and international organisations. You can watch the video here. In October, the ESR issued a press release on the launch of the EuroSafe Imaging Call for Action, which is available here. The ESR has also started planning EuroSafe Imaging-related activities at ECR 2015, which will feature an information booth, a poster exhibition and six scientific sessions.
In November, the ESR will begin the implementation phase of Action 1 of the Call for Action, as ESR experts start to review the American College of Radiology’s Appropriateness Criteria to develop imaging referral guidelines for the ESR’s Clinical Decision Support system for Europe.
Clinical audit is another priority, as the ESR is of the opinion that clinical audit must become an integral part of clinical practice, which it intends to achieve through EuroSafe Imaging. As outlined in Action 2 of the Call for Action, the ESR’s Audit and Standards Subcommittee is in the process of developing an ESR Audit Tool, with publication of the Generic Audit Guidance expected by the end of 2014. The tool will be officially launched at ECR 2015.
Data collection on CT starts with the current issue of ESR News, as the ESR is launching a series of monthly surveys entitled ‘Is your Imaging EuroSafe?’ (Action 8). The aim of these surveys is to build a European repository based on diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) for a number of clinical indications, thereby supporting implementation of Action 3 (measures to maintain radiation doses within DRLs).
Promoting the use of up-to-date equipment is an integral part of the ESR’s radiation protection efforts, and by publishing a statement on the renewal of radiological equipment, the ESR’s Economics Working Group has provided the basis for the ESR to engage with European institutions and other stakeholders regarding measures to maintain, update or replace imaging equipment in Europe (Action 4).
Following an announcement at ECR 2014, the cooperation between the low-dose research platform MELODI and European medical associations including the ESR was officially launched at a kick-off meeting in October (Action 7). The aim of this alliance is to influence the European research agenda to facilitate radiation protection research.
Training and education in radiation protection is another key focus of EuroSafe Imaging (Action 6), and a Radiation Protection Session was held on 1 October as part of the MIR 2014 Annual Meeting in Bologna, Italy.
Since its launch in March 2014, EuroSafe Imaging has become an important platform for the ESR for promoting awareness for quality and safety in medical imaging to benefit Europe’s patients, but also to deliver results for its members. EuroSafe Imaging provides a framework to represent the radiology profession’s interests, enabling the ESR to present a coherent message and recognisable image towards important stakeholders including EU institutions, the IAEA and the WHO. The initiative also aims to provide radiologists with practical tools like Clinical Decision Support and clinical audit templates, and to help alleviate patients’ concerns about radiation exposure by raising public awareness.
Achieving our ultimate goal of making Europe the safest place for patients to have a radiological exam can only be achieved through a collaborative effort, so please support this mission by becoming a Friend of EuroSafe Imaging today!