Referral Guidelines for Imaging

EIBIR supports the European Society of Radiology (ESR) in encouraging the formation of consortia to evaluate the implementation of referral guidelines for medical imaging.

The ESR, together with other partners, has been awarded an European Commission (EC) Tender to evaluate the current state of national referral guidelines in medical imaging and to provide advice to the EC on the need for further community action in this area.

The project commenced in December 2011 and it is screening whether the provision has been adopted into law on a national level.

The obligation of Member States is “to ensure that recommendations concerning referral criteria for medical exposures, including radiation doses, are available to the prescriber of medical exposures” [Article 6.2 of Council Directive 97/43/EURATOM (Medical Exposures Directive, MED)].

Based on this requirement, a number of Member States have developed national referral guidelines for clinical imaging as guidance for the referring physicians to justify radiological imaging procedures and to ensure the highest possible safety of patients when submitted to radiation exposure.

The project is composed of three major tasks:

  • The conduction of an EU-wide study on the availability, development and implementation of referral guidelines for radiological imaging in the EU Member States.
  • The organisation of a European Workshop with relevant representatives from the EU Member States.
  • The development of conclusions of the workshop regarding the need for national and/or Community action.

The overall aim of this project is to review the situation in EU Member States regarding the fulfilment of their obligations under MED Article 6.2.