The East Midlands Imaging Network (EMRAD) has launched iRefer Clinical Decision Support (CDS) across the East Midlands, to help improve the decision-making process of radiology referrals.

It helps to ensure that patients get the most appropriate type of image or other specialist referral as soon as possible. It also reduces unnecessary workloads, as it blends with existing healthcare and GP processes.

The solution factors patients’ clinical history, including lab results and previous imaging, to ensure that recommendations are specific to each patient’s unique health profile, which helps to support better health outcomes for patients.

Penny Storr, network director of EMRAD, said: “So far, the solution has shown much promise in Nottinghamshire and Kettering. It provides clinicians with evidence-based guidance and makes it easy to get the right test first time, which minimises patient delays.”

iRefer CDS was deployed first at Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust in August this year for use by Nottingham GPs.

This was followed by Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in October for Northamptonshire GPs and Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust later in the same month for Sherwood GPs.

Sarah Sentance, Sherwood Forest Hospital radiology service manager, said: “The potential impact of this clinical decision-making tool is to streamline patient pathways and remove unnecessary delays.

“Unjustified examinations will be reduced via this solution enabling patients to access the most appropriate imaging at the correct time”.

The software solution has been launched in partnership with software provider MedCurrent.

Dr Steve Herman, founder and CEO of MedCurrent, said:  “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with EMRAD and implement the system throughout their network. The demonstration of benefits of its use has been very encouraging and we look forward to more of the same as the system is rolled out more broadly.”

In the coming months, the solution will be expanded to United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trusts, University of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, and Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

EMRAD has also recently started working with xWave to develop a system to help improve the efficiency and consistency of the referral vetting process.