The Health Information and Quality Authority who began the competent authority for regulating medical exposure to ionising radiation in January 2019 recently held a number of stakeholder briefings in Dublin, Galway, and Cork. The purpose of these events was to provide interested professionals with an opportunity to meet HIQA and hear presentations on their outline regulatory plan.
The content of these presentations was very generalised, covering a wide variety of healthcare facilities where exposures are made and an equally diverse range of radiation procedures ranging from high risk medical procedures to some low risk dental radiographs.
The take home messages were:
- 1. It is essential for undertakings to be familiar with the 5 publications which HIQA has issued since January. Click here for the direct link to these documents on www.hiqa.ie
- Dentists and those members of the dental team who made ionising exposures but who are not undertakings were reminded that that they too have responsibilities under the legislation S.I. 256 of 2018. The onus is on each individual to inform themselves of these obligations and to practice within the legislation.
- Dental practices should have an established and well-documented governance structure setting out individual’s level of authority and responsibility. All staff should be made aware of where they and other team members sit within their practice governance framework.
- Dental premises where there is a CBCT (cone beam) unit will receive a radiation self-assessment questionnaire in September/October 2019. It was stated by HIQA this will comprise of no more than 20 questions confirming the undertaking’s compliance to the legislation. Based on responses HIQA may then request supporting evidence of this compliance. Announced practice inspection for practices with CBCT units will begin before the end of this year.
- 5. All other dental undertakings will receive such self-assessment questionnaire and inspections in 2020.