Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia - 2021/22 annual summary

2021/22 annual summary

Medical radiation practice in 2021/22

Snapshot

18,601 medical radiation practitioners

  • Up 4.2% from 2020/21
  • 2.2% of all registered health practitioners

0.7% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

68.4% female; 31.6% male

Age

Age: <25 8.5%, 25-34 36.2%, 35-44 26.1%, 45-54 15.8%, 55-64 10.2%, 65-74 3.0%, >75 0.1%

Divisions

14,619 diagnostic radiographers

  • 13 of whom also nuclear medicine technologists
  • 2 of whom also radiation therapists

1,273 nuclear medicine technologists

2,709 radiation therapists

18,601 total

Regulating

Notifications

41 notifications lodged with Ahpra about

33 medical radiation practitioners

  • 70 notifications about 57 medical radiation practitioners made Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
  • 0.3% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: 29.3% Patient, relative or member of the public, 14.6% Other practitioner, 12.2% Employer, 12.2% Health complaints entity, 2.4% Board initiated, 29.3% Other

Most common types of complaint

Most common types of complaint: 19.5% Clinical care, 17.1% Behaviour, 12.2% Boundary violation, 7.3% Offence against other law, 4.9% Communication, 4.9% Confidentiality, 4.9% Health impairment, 2.4% Breach of non-offence, provision - National Law, 2.4% Documentation, 24.4% Other

1 immediate action taken

9 mandatory notifications received

  • 4 about professional standards

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 34 notifications closed, 14.7% conditions imposed on registration, 8.8% cautioned or reprimanded, 23.5% referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity, 52.9% no further action

Monitoring

21 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year

53 cases being monitored at 30 June:

  • 7 for health
  • 3 for performance
  • 6 for prohibited practitioner/student
  • 37 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

No criminal offence complaints made or closed

Referred to an adjudication body

2 matters decided by a tribunal

No matters decided by a panel

Appeals

No appeals lodged

From the Chair

Issues this year

The impact and disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to be a defining feature of our regulatory focus and how we worked, including holding most meetings virtually. Our regulation of the profession has again been heavily influenced by a multiprofession approach, particularly around advice for health practitioners on issues related to COVID-19.

Accreditation

In collaboration with the Medical Radiation Practice Accreditation Committee, the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia broadened the membership of the committee to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners and senior clinical educators. These changes recognise the value that cultural safety and different perspectives have on the quality of accredited programs of study.

Policy and project updates

Coronial investigation

In November the Coroner’s Court of Victoria released its findings into the death of Peta Hickey. The Board was requested to respond, and it responded to some of the coroner’s recommendations. The Board published material on recognising and responding to acute deterioration and has elevated the discussion of continuous professional development in basic life support.

National exam guidelines

Following a Board review of its national exam guidelines that began in early 2021, the Board published revised guidelines in April 2022. The guidelines describe a candidate’s obligations, exam rules, eligibility requirements and the pass mark.

Exam calibration

The national exam for medical radiation practice assesses whether a candidate can meet the minimum requirements for safe practice in the profession. Throughout 2021 the Board updated and developed new exams, and as part of its review decided to calibrate the new exams, using final year students and recent graduates to sit the exam, which informed the agreed pass mark.

Artificial intelligence

Advanced machine programming has been a feature of medical radiation practice for many years, but artificial intelligence and machine learning in healthcare has gathered momentum in the last 18 months. The Board engaged with several stakeholders involved with artificial intelligence research and education and is developing an AI statement.

Facilitating research

Through its newsletter the Board has continued to support ethics-approved research in medical radiation practice. Recent research projects include artificial intelligence perceptions and implementation, and a national study looking at consistency in shoulder imaging.

The Board released a revised Code of conduct
in partnership with several other Boards.

Pandemic sub-register

At 30 June there were 227 medical radiation practitioners on the pandemic sub-register.

Stakeholder engagement

The Board continued to meet with national and international stakeholders including the New Zealand Medical Radiation Practice Board, the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists, Medical Radiations Australia, the Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (ASMIRT), the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine, the Australian Sonographers Association and others to discuss issues in medical radiation practice, the effect of COVID-19 and the workforce impact.

Representatives of the Board also attended the ASMIRT national conference in Queensland in May.

Ms Cara Miller

 
 
Page reviewed 22/12/2022