Author(s): Remedios D, Hierath M, Ashford N, Cavanagh P, Grenier PA,
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Abstract The objective of this study was to devise and implement a Europe-wide study on referral guidelines for radiological imaging in the EU Member States in order to identify potential major issues, important differences between Member States and good practices. A web-based survey was used to assess the availability of imaging referral guidelines, development methodology and preferences for future initiatives for European community action to facilitate justification and appropriate use of radiological diagnostic procedures. A questionnaire was distributed to representatives of national radiological and nuclear medicine societies as well as to competent authorities for radiation protection in 30 European countries, including all 28 EU Member States. Responses were collated and analysed to produce a series of conclusions and recommendations. MAIN MESSAGES: • Survey respondents in 21/30 countries were aware of legal requirements for Guidelines • Survey respondents in 18/30 countries were aware of the availability of Guidelines in their country. • The majority of responders support the development of European Guidelines. These may either be from a combination of multiple national Guidelines with consensus or Pan-European Guidelines developed centrally. • Guidelines developed in two countries included all of the following important features: radiation dose information; specific advice for imaging children; specific advice for the pregnant woman/unborn child; an evidence-based process; a formal consensus for recommendations. • Suggestions for additional measures needed to reinforce the use of Guidelines include: educational initiatives; integrating Guidelines into clinical decision support systems; clinical audit for monitoring of the availability, use and implementation of Guidelines.
This article was published in Insights Imaging
and referenced in Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Devices