ESR@Work July 2015

Update on EuroSafe Imaging activities

Having set out its key priorities for this year following ECR 2015, EuroSafe Imaging started implementing its 2015-16 roadmap. Activities include content development for the EuroSafe Imaging website, kicking off projects focusing on paediatric imaging and dose management, and recruiting imaging departments in Europe to champion best practice in radiation protection.

A working group of experts in radiology, medical physics and radiography has begun developing new content for the EuroSafe Imaging website in July 2015. The experts are divided into sub-groups focusing on CT, paediatric imaging and interventional radiology. Using requests submitted through the website, the group will develop Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or ‘Tips and Tricks’ aimed at providing professionals, patients and carers with concise monthly articles on a specific issue in each area. In addition, each month, a piece will be posted on general radiation protection and safety issues, specifically designed for patients and carers. Led by EuroSafe Imaging Steering Committee member Prof. Graciano Paulo, the aim of the working group is to make the website more interactive and responsive to the information needs of professionals and patients, contributing to Actions 10 and 11 of the EuroSafe Imaging Call for Action.

To further improve patient communication, EuroSafe Imaging will support the work on updating the ESR’s communication guidelines for radiologists in cooperation with the ESR Quality, Safety and Standards Committee and the ESR Patient Advisory Group (ESR-PAG). The aim of revising the ESR’s guidelines is to further improve communication between radiologists and other physicians as well as radiologists and patients. The recommendations with regard to patients will, in addition to risk communication, increasingly take safety reassurance into account.

EuroSafe Imaging has developed a proposal for a dose management project that is in part designed to aid the shift to a communication model based on safety reassurance. The main objective is to compile statistics on the dosimetric performance of radiology departments and to use this data to improve communication with patients. In this way, the existing tools to systematically monitor radiation dose can be used to increase awareness among hospital staff and to provide better patient information, which will help radiology departments in complying with the EU Basic Safety Standards Directive’s (Directive 2013/59 Euratom, applicable from February 2018) requirements on patient information. The project proposal is currently being evaluated.

A first step in enhancing EuroSafe Imaging’s footprint in the area of paediatric imaging will be to modify the ESR Checklist for Managing a Safe CT Service for paediatric radiologists, in cooperation with the European Society of Paediatric Radiology (ESPR). Developed by the ESR Radiation Protection Subcommittee, the CT checklist details the most important aspects to consider for workflow management and dealing with patients before and after an examination, and also includes a list of self-assessment questions for CT radiographers and imaging departments. Furthermore, the ESPR is creating a taskforce that will develop easy-to-use CT guidelines for paediatric imaging.

The EuroSafe Imaging Steering Committee also approved a new initiative called ‘EuroSafe Imaging Stars’. The aim of this concept is to recruit imaging departments across Europe as model institutions and champions for best practice in radiation protection. The selection criteria for Stars will be finalised in cooperation with the ESR Radiation Protection Subcommittee and relevant stakeholders for the launch of the EuroSafe Imaging Stars initiative in early 2016.