ESR calls for safer and more appropriate use of imaging
“This initiative is necessary, but also is very timely, because we are now facing, worldwide, a challenge to deal with the potential risks of radiation in health care without compromising the benefits, and this is the reason why I think it is very appropriate that this initiative is taken by the professionals; the radiologists,” Dr. Maria Del Rosario Perez of the World Health Organization, said in a statement.
The campaign backs the Bonn Call for Action that the WHO and the International Atomic Energy Agency launched in 2012, which is a proposal for the priorities that stakeholders should focus on regarding radiation protection in the medical industry for the next decade.
The “Call for Action” consists of 12 points that include advocating for the appropriate use of imaging, ensuring that radiation doses are within diagnostic reference levels, utilizing the “as low as reasonably achievable” principle, promoting the use of the latest equipment, empowering patients and teaming up with other stakeholders.
The ESR has already started making headway by working on introducing a new clinical decision support system for imaging referral guidelines. It will be a software tool that will help referring physicians recommend the most appropriate radiological exams for their patients.
The society is also working on developing templates for internal clinical audit. They already offer e-learning resources on radiation protection and special education sessions as well as the Patient Advisory Group for Medical Imaging to empower patients.
“We believe that this holistic approach is an important step towards joining forces for patient safety in Europe,” Guy Frija, founder of EuroSafe Imaging, chair of the EuroSafe Imaging Steering Committee and ESR past president, said in a statement. “And we believe too that the use of up-to-date equipment is of utmost importance for improving the safety of X-ray examinations. The ESR urges the European Commission to develop a European plan for the improvement of X-ray equipment, including CT across Europe.”