1 TeamOn November 8th, Vancouver General Hospital, University of British Columbia along with the British Columbia Radiology Society (BCRS), Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR), American Society of Emergency Radiology, European Society of Radiology (ESR), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) celebrated the sixth International Day of Radiology (IDoR 2017) with radiological societies all over the world.

The International Day of Radiology is an annual event held with the aim of building greater awareness of the value that radiology adds to the high standard of patient care, and improving understanding of the vital role radiologists play in the healthcare continuum.

Medical imaging is one of the most exciting and progressive disciplines in healthcare and a field of great activity in terms of technological and biological advances. X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, ultrasound and numerous other medical imaging technologies, as well as the eye-catching images associated with them, are known to many people, but the exact purpose and value of these services is not widely understood.

November 8, the day that Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered the existence of x-rays in 1895, was therefore chosen as a day of action and awareness. We aspire to alert the world to the stunning medical, scientific and even artistic possibilities of medical imaging, the essential role of the radiologist as a part of the healthcare team in countless medical scenarios, and the high educational and professional standards required of all staff working in medical imaging. Emergency Radiology (ER) has been chosen as the main theme of this day, to highlight the essential role that radiologists play in emergency room, increasing the quality of care and treatment of patients in need of urgent care.

Dr. Frances Walstra (The Netherlands), Dr. Siobhán O’Neill (Ireland), Dr. Sadia Qamar (Pakistan).
Dr. Frances Walstra (The Netherlands), Dr. Siobhán O’Neill (Ireland), Dr. Sadia Qamar (Pakistan).

ER is a sub-speciality within medical imaging which continues to gain significance globally. Emergencies constitute a substantial portion of radiological cases and require efficient and effective handling with correct diagnoses and decisions in a timely manner. In the majority of hospitals today radiologists are integral members of the emergency unit and are in charge of sequencing, prioritisation and management of imaging services. Wherever this is the case, the outcome is impressive; not only is trauma imaging improved, with resulting lower morbidity and mortality, but all emergency patients benefit from the closer relationship between radiologists and the acute care services (Emergency department, Trauma team, Stroke team).

ER is well established at Vancouver General Hospital, University of British Columbia, with our department is a pioneering site in the development and advancement of the specialty. The ER department is the first 24/7/365 radiology service in Canada and one of only a handful of sites in the world to offer this service. This has a significant impact on patient care, with all patients being provided with rapid and equal access to medical imaging regardless of the time they present to the ER, minimising the delay to diagnosis, treatment or discharge. The department also facilitates access to imaging for patients across the province 24/7, with this rapid delivery of imaging and directed care contributing to saving the lives and improved patient turn around time thus alleviating ED crowding and pressure on hospital care.

VGH serves one of the busiest Level 1 trauma accredited ED in North America. Our ER service provides imaging excellence in trauma, acute care, cardiac care and stroke imaging. The ER team at VGH continues to publish an extensive volume of original research in all disciplines. The radiology staff and fellows continue to make impactful contributions at international conferences.

The ER fellowship at UBC/VGH is the largest program of its kind in the world with fellows hailing from countries all over the world including India, Pakistan, England, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, United Arabic Emirates, Ireland, Australia, Bahrain, the Netherlands. The goal of the Emergency and Trauma Fellowship is to provide trainees with a broad based experience in Trauma and Acute Care Imaging. Past trainees of ER VGH have replicated the VGH ER model with great success all over the world.

ER at VGH is patient and innovation centred and has pioneered CT imaging protocols such as the Rapid Imaging Protocol In Trauma (RIPIT), the use of cardiac CT in the evaluation of acute chest pain and the use of pelvic MRI in assessment for acute appendicitis. Imaging informatics innovations in ER include visual control solutions for order management, technologist oversight, results tracking and award-winning real-time radiation dose monitoring solution.