In November 2014, the ESR launched its call for a European Action Plan for Medical Imaging to improve patient safety and quality of care at the European Parliament in Brussels. The initiative calls on EU politicians and stakeholders to join forces to improve patient safety and quality of care for Europe’s citizens and is endorsed by 41 national radiological societies, as well as all 15 European radiological subspecialty societies. The call addresses issues that are of key importance to the ESR, such as the harmonisation of training requirements for radiologists, eHealth and personalised medicine. The timeliness of the ESR Call for a European Action Plan to improve patient safety and quality of care has already been proven, since the Expert Panel advising the European Commission on effective ways of investing in health recently adopted an opinion recommending specific actions to improve quality of care and patient safety.
The actions proposed in the expert panel’s opinion paper correspond with the key issues addressed by the ESR as follows:
- The use of a comprehensive conceptual framework in relation to quality and safety
- Development of guidelines and the inter-professional sharing of good practices
- Funding research on quality and safety
- Economic issues related to the defined quality dimensions
- Education and training for the new roles of both patients and health professionals
- Information technology and information systems significant for health quality and safety
- Quality and safety aspects of the burden of chronic diseases and inequalities in health
- The HTA network, and increasing attention to Health System Impact Assessment
Moreover, following the successful launch of the ESR Call for a European Action Plan for Medical Imaging, ESR experts were invited to share their expertise during a conference on promoting patient safety and quality of care, held by the former Italian Council Presidency and the European Commission in Rome in December. The conference focused mainly on the Council Conclusions on Patient Safety and Quality of Care, adopted in December by the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO). Although the Council’s conclusions focus on the prevention of ‘hospital acquired infections’ the core aims defined in the paper reflect the key issues addressed in the ESR’s call for a European Action Plan for Medical Imaging. The Council, inter alia, calls on the Member States and the European Commission to foster patient safety and quality of care through the promotion of research and the development of guidelines as well as to finalise by December 2016 a framework for a sustainable EU collaboration on patient safety and quality of care.
The ESR is currently organising a contact programme with representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament and Council in order to implement concrete measures addressed in the ESR Call for a European Action Plan for Medical Imaging and to continue raising awareness regarding patient safety and quality of care for the benefit of Europe’s patients.
For more information on the launch event held at the European Parliament in November last year, please see the file below.