2021-2022 Diagnostic Imaging Referral Guidelines
Update – October 24, 2023
We have been progressing with the development of the diagnostic imaging referral guidelines. We have four sections complete and published (see below), three approved and under journal submission preparation (Head and Neck, Gastrointestinal System, Thoracic), and five other sections (Cardiovascular, Genitourinary System, Pediatrics, Spine, Central Nervous System) underway at various stages. The last section (Cancer) will begin in early 2024.
- Breast Disease
- Musculoskeletal System
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
In January 2021, the CAR, in collaboration with the Canadian Medical Association through an unrestricted sponsorship grant, is supporting the integration of diagnostic imaging referral guidelines into electronic Clinical Decision Support (CDS) systems in Canada.
The national diagnostic imaging referral guidelines are being developed in consultation with the radiology community and members from allied professionals’ groups such the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP), the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada, Choosing Wisely and the Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada (NPAC).
The CAR has established a Referral Guidelines Working Group (WG) co-chaired by Dr. Ryan Margau (Chief and Medical Director, Medical Imaging, North York General Hospital) and Dr. Paul Pageau (Director, Point of Care US, Department of Emergency Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital), who will provide leadership and oversight on this project in collaboration with 16 other WG members from across Canada.
Canada’s radiology community and its referring clinicians will develop a comprehensive set of evidence-based, peer-reviewed referral guidelines to support clinical decision-making by referring clinicians. The primary objective is to promote the most appropriate diagnostic imaging procedure(s), so that patients receive these procedure(s) at the right time, resulting in better health outcomes.
In addition to the integration into CDS systems, these guidelines will be made freely available to enhance care and enable communication among physicians.
2012 CAR Diagnostic Imaging Referral Guidelines
- Section A: Central nervous system
- Section B: Head and neck
- Section C: Spine
- Section D: Musculoskeletal system
- Section E: Cardiovascular
- Section F: Thoracic
- Section G: Gastrointestinal system
- Section H: Urological, adrenal and genitourinary systems
- Section I: Obstetrics and gynaecology
- Section J: Trauma
- Section K: Cancer
- Section L: Pediatrics
- Section M: Breast disease
2018 Symposiums on DI Referrals and Appropriateness and CDS systems
The CAR convened two events in 2018 on diagnostic imaging referral guidelines, appropriateness, and electronic CDS systems. The goal was to open lines of communication and collaboration on issues and strategies related to imaging referrals and quality improvement.
January 2018 Symposium Report
June 2018 Symposium Report