March 2017

The ESR's quality and safety initiatives were again front and centre at ECR 2017. Read the EU Affairs Department's March 2017 update here.


IAEA and ESR conclude practical arrangement

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Society of Radiology (ESR) have concluded a practical arrangement on cooperation in the area of diagnostic imaging, including hybrid imaging. The arrangement is intended to enhance the ESR's longstanding collaboration with the IAEA's Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging (NMDI) Section and focuses on capacity building and education.

According to then-ESR Chair Prof. Katrine Riklund, “the IAEA-ESR practical arrangement represents a major milestone in the ESR’s engagement with international organisations, and it is a result of years of diligent work to establish the ESR as an active and credible stakeholder in healthcare policy at the international level. With a strong educational programme at the heart of the society’s mission and an ever-growing global membership, this practical arrangement plays to our strengths while also opening up new horizons”.

Read more about the practical arrangement here.





ESR iGuide - Clinical decision support for the ESR's imaging referral guidelines

The ECR 2017 professional challenges session on clinical decision support (CDS), chaired by ESR Education Committee Chair Prof. Laura Oleaga, featured lectures focusing on the role of CDS within a value-centric approach to medical imaging, the general practitioners' perspective, how to evaluate the impact of applying referral guidelines through CDS, and an introduction of the ESR's latest educational project utilising CDS: ESR eGuide.

From left to right: J. Metsemakers, L. Oleaga, H.-U. Kauczor, M. Hunink, L. Donoso


According to Prof. Hans-Ulrich Kauczor from Heidelberg University Hospital, one of the greatest advantages of implementing CDS for imaging referrals is more uniform medical practice. Decision support can help embed evidence-based practices, ensuring the same examination is being done for the same clinical question. Prof. Job Metsemakers, Past-President of WONCA Europe, informed delegates that, faced with the ever-growing complexity in medicine, electronic decision support tools certainly have merit for family doctors, but successful adoption depends on such systems not causing extra workload for referrers.

Prof. Myriam Hunink, an epidemiologist at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam and Chair of the ESR working group on imaging referral guidelines, presented possible study designs for evaluating CDS implementations. So far, implementations of CDS systems like ACR Select or ESR iGuide have been evaluated through single-centre before-after studies, which have their limitations. According to Prof. Hunink, the most realistic and feasible study designs are stepped-wedge cluster randomised controlled trials or matched pair cluster RCTs evaluating measures like short-term quality of life, complications of testing and costs of the diagnostic workup.

Finally, Prof. Luis Donoso of the Hospital Clinic Barcelona, the first hospital in Europe to introduce a CDS system for imaging referrals, introduced ESR eGuide, a new ESR e-learning project utilising the ESR iGuide decision support portal for medical education.

Supported by Prof. Franz Kainberger of the Medical University of Vienna, who has already been using ESR iGuide in class for several months, a sample case study was presented to highlight how medical students and residents can benefit from user-friendly access to the latest guidelines on appropriate imaging. ESR eGuide will become available as an e-learning tool on the ESR's Education on Demand platform in 2017, and the ESR encourages universities to apply this concept as well.