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  • Mitchell O'Gorman

xWave partners with Royal College of Radiologists to tackle imaging backlogs


NHS radiology services are currently under immense pressure, with record-breaking wait times for diagnostic tests and specialist appointments. Patient backlogs, coupled with a 29% shortfall of radiology consultants, are leading to delays in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers and other life-threatening conditions. Compounding the issue, owing to a lack of accessible guidance and support for clinicians, referrals are often made for patients for scans that add little or no value to the patient journey. This needlessly extends wait times for everyone in the system and wastes hundreds of thousands of pounds for health systems.

A new partnership with the UK’s authority on radiology

To help tackle the escalating crisis, xWave are delighted to have officially partnered with the Royal College of Radiologists to make the iRefer guidelines available through our Clinical Decision Support (CDS) tech platform to ensure patients get the best test first.


This is an important and significant step towards tackling the growing crisis, putting our CDS technology, which is proven to accelerate patients’ access to life-saving treatment, into the hands of the doctors who need it.


In support of the partnership, Oliver Reichardt, CEO of the Royal College of Radiologists, said: “In a recent report published by our team here at the Royal College of Radiologists, 98% of NHS clinical directors expressed concern over workforce morale, stress, and burnout in their departments. 97% admitted to concern over the backlogs and delays to patients care, and 81% cited worries about patient safety. However, evidence shows that Clinical Decision Support software has a really important role to play in reducing unnecessary tests and ensuring the right tests are requested first time. Promoting the adoption of successful technologies like xWave CDS is a crucial step in helping to relieve the very heavy workloads radiologists are facing this autumn.”


The digital tool supports clinicians to make the best referral decision for each patient, and also supports hospital-based radiology teams to vet and approve imaging requests more easily. It enables clinicians to input information about a patient case, and then instantly presents them with ‘next step’ action advice in line with the latest evidence-based guidance - be it an x-ray, MRI scan, clinic appointment, or self-management plan. This will reduce unnecessary scans and wasted appointments, helping to slow the growth of waiting lists.

Creating care capacity for the patients who need it most

We are already deploying CDS across Ireland, which has reduced the average referral-to-vetting time from 7.5 working days to just 14 minutes. Further evidencing the impact of our solution, a hospital group in Ireland that we have been working with has been able to reduce unwarranted advanced cross sectional imaging requests by more than 60% for patients with cancer of the head and neck. This resulted in an overall reduction of referral volumes by 8.2%, freeing up system capacity for the patients who need it most.


Dr Graeme McNeill, Chair of Radiology, Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, explained the power of xWave CDS for clinicians and patient, saying: "xWave CDS provides a much-needed solution for a long-standing problem. When clinicians use the platform, they are supported to select the most appropriate examination or imaging for their patient. This means that when the request comes through to me, I can vet and approve it quickly, without the need for additional phone calls and emails. xWave CDS has made a massive difference to my team’s efficiency”


At xWave, we’re making sure that clinicians have access to the information they need, at the point of care, to make the right referral and vetting decisions. What really matters is that patients get the best test first, and with minimal waiting. This partnership with the Royal College of Radiologists is a huge step forward in making this a reality.


If you’re interested in how xWave can support your radiology teams and patients, get in touch at hello@xwave.ie


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