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Poster Title: Safe 'prescribing' of ionising radiation: a closed loop audit
Submitted on 30 Oct 2020
Author(s): Dr Eric Y. Auyoung
Affiliations: Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
This poster was presented at BIR 2020
Poster Views: 340
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Poster Information
Abstract: According to the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (IR(ME)R) 2000, ‘Referrers,’ must be aware of their responsibilities under IR(ME)R before referring patients for imaging involving ionising radiation. It is, therefore, expected that junior doctors (JDs), the largest referring cohort, meet this requirement. Using a questionnaire, JDs, were assessed for their understanding of their responsibilities as a ‘Referrer,’ and awareness of ionising radiation risks.

A fifteen-question survey questionnaire was created using an online survey platform and sent to all JDs, at one hospital. The questions tested the participant’s understanding of responsibilities of a ‘Referrer’ and ionising radiation risks. JDs were expected to score 100%, as per the IR(ME)R standard. After implementing changes, a second audit cycle was completed with a new cohort of JDs.

In the first audit cycle, 64% of participants (n=59) achieved 100% on the questionnaire, and it was noted that the worst scoring group were the Foundation Doctors. After a teaching session to Foundation Doctors and incorporating a mandatory e-learning module for all doctors, 95% of participants (n=56) scored 100% in the second audit cycle of the questionnaire. Of note, 60% of participants felt that they were not taught about the legislation during medical school.

JDs are assumed to be trained in IR(ME)R guidelines or radiation safety in medical school, and are entitled to be a ‘Referrer.’ However, this audit reveals that most FDs, do not understand their responsibilities as a ‘Referrer’, or the risks of ionising radiation, and therefore need further training before being a ‘Referrer.’
Summary: A closed loop audit assessing junior doctors' understanding of their responsibilities under IR(ME)R and the risks of ionising radiation. References: 1. Ionising radiation (medical exposure) regulations. 2018: 121 (Available at:) /uk si_20180121_en.pdf. Date accessed: November 28, 2019
2. Cohen JA. Knowledge of radiation legislation and guidelines amongst foundation doctors is inadequate for safe practice in the current era of radiology. Clin Radiol . 2019 Jun;74(6):418 420. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2019.01.020. Epub 2019 Feb 23. PMID: 30803812.
3. Royal College of Radiologists. Foundation doctors’ knowledge of radiation legislation and exposure 2016. 2016 (Available at:) doctors%E2%80%99 knowledge radiation legislation and exposure. Date accessed: November 28, 2019
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