Abstract: The International Forum is held once a year by the ESR and its international radiological partner societies with the aim to address and discuss selected subjects of global relevance in radiology. In 2016, the issue of implementing imaging referral guidelines in clinical routine was analysed. The legal environment in the USA requires that after January 1, 2017, physicians must consult government-approved, evidence-based appropriate-use criteria through a clinical decision support system when ordering advanced diagnostic imaging exams. The ESR and the National Decision Support Company are developing “ESR iGuide“, a clinical decision support system for European imaging referral guidelines using ESR imaging referral guidelines based on ACR Appropriateness Criteria. In many regions of the world, the situation is different and quite diverse, depending on the specific features of health care systems in different countries, but there are, unlike in the USA and EU, no legal obligations to implement imaging referral guidelines into the clinical practice. Imaging referral guidelines and clinical decision support implementation is a complex issue everywhere and the legal environment surrounding it even more so; how they will be implemented into the clinical practice in different areas of the world needs yet to be decided. Main messages: • Implementation of imaging referral guidelines in clinical routine is needed. • Potential benefits are improved appropriateness in referrals and reduction of unnecessary radiation exposure. • The educational benefits include new insights through data collection and reporting. • The system will potentially highlight the lack in quality or availability of equipment.
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