Diagnostic imaging in Australia must be underpinned by a regulatory framework which ensures practices – both private and public – can continue to provide patients across the country with high-quality, safe and affordable services.
To this end, Federal Government in 2011 announced it would implement the Diagnostic Imaging Review Reform Package to improve the quality and value of diagnostic imaging services. This Package was to be underpinned by a Quality Framework.
ADIA and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) have addressed the Quality Framework’s priority issues, and are now working with Government to have the following four key proposals implemented:
1. Patients will always access Medicare funded CT services in radiologist-supervised practices offering a minimum range of imaging modalities:
An onsite radiologist enables more direct clinical oversight of imaging services, particularly in relation to the appropriateness of an imaging request and the care of the patient. This will also facilitate improved communication between referrers and radiologists, to improve outcomes and reduce radiation risk.
2. Patients will have access to radiologist supervised Diagnostic Mammography and MSK Ultrasound Services:
Diagnostic mammography requires ‘hands on’ clinical expertise during the scanning process, and an onsite radiologist will enable more efficient and timely patient management and assessment.
3. All remote reporting of images will meet quality protocols to preserve the clinical chain of responsibility:
This will ensure the involvement of specialist radiologists, maintain access to diagnostic imaging services and increase access to sub-specialist expertise in rural and remote communities.
4. All Medicare funded diagnostic ultrasound services will be performed by practitioners with accepted minimum professional qualifications:
All providers of diagnostic ultrasound services must be appropriately trained and qualified and must meet continuing education requirements.
ADIA has addressed the Quality Framework’s priority issues and is now working with Government to have four key proposals implemented.