ESR News February 2016, ESR iGuide

Effectively and efficiently managing the utilisation of medical imaging is an absolute necessity to maintain safety and quality of care in an environment of ever increasing demand on healthcare systems in Europe, particularly for radiology services. ESR iGuide, a clinical decision support (CDS) system for imaging referral guidelines developed by the ESR, is a tool enabling healthcare providers to ensure that referrals are appropriate.

The referral guidelines for ESR iGuide were developed by the ESR based on the appropriateness criteria of the American College of Radiology. An in-depth review by a team of ESR-appointed experts, overseen by a dedicated methodologist, was conducted in 2015 to make sure the guidelines conform to European standards of practice and the latest available medical evidence. To keep the guidelines up to date and review feedback from users that pilot test the system in several European countries from 2016, the ESR is establishing a new working group on imaging referral guidelines as part of its Quality, Safety and Standards Committee.

As close cooperation with the ACR is essential in this endeavour, the ESR and ACR have agreed to also form a joint committee in order to make the updating process even more robust. The ACR Rapid Response Committee (RRC) has been extended to include the ESR’s guideline experts as full members starting in 2016. This is an important first step towards the shared vision of jointly developing a global set of imaging referral guidelines in future.

CDS is just as valuable a tool in the classroom as it is in the hospital or GP surgery, which is why the ESR is launching the educational project ESR eGuide to use CDS as an e-learning tool. The concept is that case-based scenarios with multiple choice answers for the most appropriate imaging exam are solved using ESR iGuide, improving students’ knowledge of appropriateness while familiarising them with clinical decision support for imaging. It is planned that this project will utilise and build upon existing ESR tools and resources, and that it will be implemented in coordination with the ACR, who have been running a similar project using ACR Select in the United States. Join the ECR 2016 European School of Radiology (ESOR) session on Thursday, March 3, 14:00-15:30, in Room N where ESR President Prof. Luis Donoso will present ESR eGuide.

ESR iGuide will be introduced for use by European healthcare providers in 2016 by National Decision Support Company (NDSC), the ESR’s platform provider, which set up a European presence in 2015. Several pilot tests in various countries across Europe are slated to start in the first half of this year. If you are interested in seeing a demonstration of the system or becoming a pilot site, visit the ESR iGuide booth at ECR 2016 in the entrance hall of the Austria Center Vienna. You can even schedule a time for a demo with NDSC at Speaking of ECR 2016: don’t miss the ECR 2016 session on CDS (PC 8a) on Thursday, March 3, 16:00-17:30 in Studio 2016, and check out the poster on ESR iGuide in the electronic EuroSafe Imaging poster exhibition at any of the terminals in the ECR Online & EPOS Lounge (first level, ACV).