European Society of Radiology: Involving Patients for Better Safety

The European Congress of Radiology (ECR) took place in Vienna from 1-5 March 2017 providing a platform to discuss strategies towards improved patient safety and quality of care. Patients and healthcare professionals exchanged views on best practices in patient involvement.

The 4-day ECR 2017 congress gave the opportunity to participants to join in three sessions organised by the European Society of Radiology’s Patient Advisory Group (ESR-PAG) – a platform bringing together patients and imaging professionals – to discuss developments in the field of medical imaging to the benefit of patients in Europe.

Best Practices in Patient Involvement

The first breakout session Improving patient safety and quality of care in clinical radiology explored how audit measurements and standards can improve patient safety and quality of care. Speakers presented concrete examples of best practices on implementing these standards in the radiology department:

  • Dr Barry Kelly, chair of the ESR Audit & Standards subcommittee, underlined the need to analyse and audit all partners involved, including doctors themselves, whose working conditions and training can have an influence on patient safety.
  • Erik Briers, (The European Prostate Cancer Coalition – Europa Uomo), focused on the patient journey through the various radiology departments, suggesting that information tailored to the different levels of literacy should be proposed, together with procedures on how to handle questions from patients and next of kin or carers.
  • Dr Dominique Carrié, a radiologist from Toulouse, France, presented the patient satisfaction questionnaire prepared by the ESR-PAG. He underlined that “assessing patients’ needs and concerns is crucial to practice radiology closer to the patient”.

The last session focused on Big data – data management, standardisation, access and protection, detailing its importance for personalised medicine in radiology.

Prof. Peter Mildenberger, chair of the ESR Professional Issues and Economics in Radiology Subcommittee, provided an overview of European developments. He pointed out that while new developments in medical imaging offer new opportunities, it could also generate a lot of different and more sophisticated work than conventional x-ray or CT (computed tomography) scans.

Nicola Bedlington, Secretary General of the European Patient’s Forum (EPF) and co-chair of the ESR-PAG, presented the patient perspective on big data and noted the increasing drive to improve collection and use of patients’ data in order to achieve better, more sustainable healthcare and advance health research. She highlighted that “the only way to do this in a meaningful and valuable way is together with patients”.

Finally, the EuroSafe Imaging Café “Together for Patient Safety” came down as a popular place for informal discussions and networking between patients and professionals. The Café was notably the occasion to promote the new information leaflet about the ESR-PAG aiming to raise awareness and promote quality and safety in medical imaging.

All the recorded ESR-PAG sessions are available in podcasts on ECR Online.

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