June 2017

ESR iGuide is a clinical decision support system for European imaging referral guidelines developed by the European Society of Radiology (ESR) based on the American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria, in cooperation with National Decision Support Company (NDSC).

Combining the medical expertise of the ESR with NDSC’s tried and tested clinical decision support platform, ESR iGuide offers an efficient, traceable and reliable way of supporting the request of the most appropriate imaging exams in daily practice. ESR iGuide provides users with guidelines and recommendations based on the latest medical evidence, integrates seamlessly into the clinical workflow and existing IT infrastructure, supports and educates referring physicians, and gives patients confidence that they receive the best radiological healthcare.

Following an ESR-led European Commission study revealing that imaging referral guidelines are hardly used in Europe, the ESR initiated a project to make evidence-based guidelines available in a user-friendly way. Clinical decision support offers an ideal solution to this problem, as guidelines can be kept up-to-date while being available to referring physicians at the point of care.

Since 2014, the ESR works with the ACR and NDSC to make a Europeanised version of the ACR Appropriateness Criteria available to referring physicians in Europe. A joint rapid response team continuously updates the guidelines, while NDSC licenses the ESR’s guidelines and is responsible for all technical and commercial aspects.

The first ESR iGuide pilot projects have been running since 2016, among others in four hospitals in Croatia, the Highlands Hospital in Jönköping, Sweden, as well as sites in Ireland, Spain, Germany and Qatar. Preliminary results from Croatia indicate that up to one quarter of imaging referrals are not or only moderately appropriate according to the referral guidelines. By using ESR iGuide, up to three percent of referrals were cancelled, while in up to five percent of cases a more appropriate examination was chosen. By utilising the data and analytics capabilities of ESR iGuide, further educating referrers can improve these results in future.

Check out the ECR 2017 posters on the ESR iGuide implementation in Jönköping and the pilot project in Croatia, presented as part of the EuroSafe Imaging poster exhibition.

Please go to our website for more information on ESR iGuide, or visit the ESR booth at the Nordic Congress of Radiology.