EuroSafe Imaging 2020
Not applicable, Workforce, Occupational / Environmental hazards, Education and training, Audit and standards, PACS, Radiation physics, Management, Action 1 - Guidelines, implementation policies, and Clinical Decision Support (ESR iGuide)
D. Brennan, P. Gilligan, S. Foley, G. C. Colleran, N. Sheehy, J. Feeney, O. O'Connor
Description of activity and work performed
Ireland transposed the new regulations into law in January 2019, separating the authority of regulating ionising radiation exposure between the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA), governing patients, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which continues to be the competent authority for the protection of workers and members of the public. HIQA and the EPA work together to carry out their separate but parallel functions under the relevant legislation.
The Irish implementation built on recommendations from an IAEA 2015 regulatory review. The legislation moves the responsibility from the radiologist to the undertaking provider. An undertaking is defined as a person/body who carries out, or engages others to carry out, a medical radiological procedure or the practical aspects of a medical radiological procedure.
The current legislation has included radiographers as referrers and practitioners, as well as introducing new requirements for medical physicists.
A body of work has been carried out in developing guidelines and scopes of practice. Some early amendments of the laws and reissued guidance have been necessary. HIQA initially guided providers to self-assess their own service, now formal inspections are carried out in order to assess compliance with the regulations.
Training, particularly of non-radiology practitioners, to take account of RP 175 has been identified as a major challenge. From the staff and public perspective, compliance with regulations surrounding the use of non-medical x-rays, the new eye dose limits and dose sharing practices are evolving.