Get paid to trial imaging guidelines

2 minute read

RANZCR is looking for GPs willing to try the iRefer guidelines, which have enjoyed success in the UK.

Australian GPs can now sign up to participate in a pilot rollout of the UK’s medical imaging guidelines, which will begin next month.

The iRefer guidelines, which were developed by the Royal College of Radiologists in 1989, are already regularly used by British GPs, emergency doctors, radiographers and physiotherapists.

Published in 2017, the eighth edition of the guidelines brings together close to 3000 individual imaging guidelines and evidence.

In the UK, the guidelines are free to Royal College of Radiologists members and fellows, but anyone else looking to access iRefer will be set back about $200 AUD (£120).

GPs in Australia can instead be paid to use the guidelines, if they get in quick.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, which is managing the Australian pilot with the support of both GP colleges, will pay GPs up to $2850 to trial the guidelines for the month of September.

Participation in the system induction, pilot briefing and trial evaluation will fetch participating GPs $150 apiece, along with $600 for going to four check-in meetings and an additional $45 per iRefer test check and data completion (to a maximum of 40).

The RACGP urged members to consider participating, to ensure a wide range of perspectives are captured and to “inform the next stages of iRefer in Australia”.

ACRRM also encouraged members to throw their hat into the ring, and said the radiologist college was looking to have 50% rural GP representation in the 100-doctor pilot.

The trial will be a proof-of-concept of an integrated clinical decision support, as recommended in the 2020 MBS taskforce review.

More specifically, the reviewers called for support which would “help to address some of the variation in GP referral rates and support clinicians to request the right test at the right time”, leading to higher quality care.

Over time, iRefer is also expected to reduce waste, saving money across the health system.

It’s not yet clear whether iRefer will eventually become mandatory for all GPs to consult, or just how it will integrate into the clinical workflow.

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