Imaging accreditation scheme re-launches with fresh face and enhanced support

Published: 17 June 2019 Ezine

The UK’s accreditation scheme for clinical imaging enters a new era as it re-launches with a new name, logo and a renewed focus on helping services evidence quality improvement.

The ISAS Standard becomes the Quality Standard for Imaging (QSI).

The quality criteria will remain the same and the Standard will continue to be used by UKAS as the benchmark for accreditation. 

A new staged approach supported by the RCR and SCoR will help services through their quality improvement journey towards accreditation.

The Imaging Service Accreditation Scheme (ISAS) was created in 2009 by the The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) and the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) for providers to improve their diagnostic imaging services and ensure patients consistently receive high quality care assured by externally assessed accreditation.

Currently, 35 UK services have been awarded ISAS accreditation, with a further 54 working towards the award. Accreditation relies on services meeting key criteria under headings of leadership and management, patient experience, clinical delivery, facilities, resources, staffing and safety.  

The standard will continue to be independently assessed and accredited by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS). Accreditation is recognised and recommended by NHS regulators and the Care Quality Commission to show good quality of services.

Even if services do not continue on to full accreditation, working through the early QSI stages will help imaging teams collate and evidence their quality improvement work for external review by healthcare inspectorates, as well as educating and empowering staff to make a difference within their service . 

The RCR and CoR will provide support to help teams proceeding through the initial stages, and regional networks will be established to foster shared learning between local services. All future service delivery guidance from both SCoR and the RCR will also reference QSI, to help departments contextualise their activity against the standard.

Professor Mark Callaway, the RCR’s medical director of professional practice for clinical radiology, said,

 “It is extremely exciting to be launching the refreshed standard today. We know ISAS has made a massive positive difference to departments, with teams telling us that their quality improvement journey has markedly improved patient care and efficiency, as well as inspiring staff. 

“There is now growing recognition of the crucial role diagnostic imaging plays in healthcare provision and innovation – from rapid cancer staging to life-saving stroke diagnosis – and we want patients and the public to be confident in the quality and processes of their local imaging services.

“The staged approach of the QSI looks to make it both manageable and rewarding for those services working towards quality improvement, and we hope the QSI’s enhanced services will encourage more teams to reap the benefits of the scheme.”     

SCoR President Sue Webb said: “The new branding is the next stage in the evolution of accreditation. It is important that imaging services understand they have the support of both Colleges to make continuous improvement.

“Together, we will ensure that patients consistently receive high quality care delivered by competent staff working in safe environments.

“We look forward to welcoming more and more diagnostic imaging services to implementing QSI and proceeding to accreditation.”

Find out more about QSI and how to apply.