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The tender process, which was concluded in early June, was the first such procurement for a nation-wide implementation of a radiology referral CDS in Europe. ESR iGuide will now be integrated into the radiology referral workflow across Cyprus to ensure a seamless user experience enabling referring physicians to receive appropriateness recommendations in real time to support them in choosing the right test for their patients. Embedding the latest guidance in this way helps ensure consistency in medical practice and the clarity and structure of CDS-driven referrals can make referral workflows more efficient. 

“The appropriate utilisation of diagnostic radiology is a strategic priority for the radiology profession, and the adoption of imaging referral guidelines in clinical practice has for years been a core part of the ESR’s mission to deliver better patient care,” commented Prof. Regina Beets-Tan, Chair of the ESR Board of Directors. “After a number of implementations at different hospitals in Europe, it is great to see that the potential of ESR iGuide to improve radiology utilisation is increasingly recognised. I am extremely pleased that Cyprus has decided to implement ESR iGuide throughout the HIO network and am confident it will be a valuable asset to the Cypriot healthcare system. We look forward to further implementations at a regional or even national scale in Europe and beyond.” 

With this implementation, ESR iGuide will complement Cyprus’ General Healthcare System which serves well over 900,000 beneficiaries (covering the vast majority of the population of Cyprus). With this major reform launched in 2019, Cyprus also undertook a rearrangement of the digital health sector, making Cyprus a pioneer in this regard and providing an optimal electronic environment for the integration of ESR iGuide. 

“The General Healthcare System (GHS) in Cyprus provides universal health coverage and was introduced in June 2019, first for outpatient care services, followed by phase 2 in June 2020, with the addition of all remaining services including inpatient care,” stated Mr Athos Tsinontides, Acting Director General. “The main features of the system are universal coverage of the population, equal and equitable treatment of all beneficiaries, provision of a comprehensive package of healthcare services, freedom of choice of provider by the beneficiaries and social reciprocity. The Health Insurance Organization (HIO) is responsible for the introduction and management of the GHS. During the first few years our efforts have focussed on ensuring the availability of providers and services in the system. For the years to come, more emphasis is needed in ensuring quality of care provided as well as ensuring sustainability. We believe that the ESR iGuide will help us reach both of these targets in the area of imaging services by ensuring that our referring physicians select the most appropriate imaging exam based on the latest imaging referral guidelines. The implementation of evidence-based practices is fundamental for any healthcare system, especially a new system like GHS, ensuring the optimal utilisation of imaging exams, patient safety as well as efficiency savings by issuing the appropriate referrals.”

Healthcare systems everywhere face challenges with increased demand in patient care – and the radiology specialty is no exception, as a timely diagnosis is an essential part of almost every patient journey. ESR iGuide is an excellent tool to help referrers optimise the utilisation of the incredible technology and expertise the radiology profession provides.

ESR iGuide is the European Society of Radiology’s solution to make imaging referral guidelines readily available and easily usable everywhere in Europe. Developed through an evidence-based methodology based on the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria, guidelines embedded in the clinical decision support (CDS) platform ESR iGuide can be used in real-time in clinical workflows supporting referrers in selecting the right diagnostic tests for their patients.