Message from Department Chair

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Message from Department Chair

Dear Friends,

In Virginia, the chlorophyll is breaking down in the leaves, and the green is fading to the vibrant colors of autumn. This annual transformation is symbolic of our Department's continued progress. 

Michael Rao, Ph.D., President, VCU and VCU Health System, wrote in a recent email about safety and care, "Though we all have different roles here, we share a dedication to building a culture where safety and exceptional care are at the heart of everything we do. Our commitment to this cause must be the foundation of our work." With this in mind, I have the great pleasure in highlighting the results of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) 2021 Safety Culture Survey. Our radiologists substantially outperformed the AHRQ Database of 172 participating hospitals (87,856 respondents), the national average of teaching hospitals, and the overall VCU Health physicians rankings. The categories and results are detailed in this newsletter. 

Our ambitious expansion plans are ongoing as we proudly step up to meet VCU Health's commitment to providing the diverse communities of central Virginia with accessible quality health care and medical imaging. Two new facilities are highlighted in this newsletter - the VCU Health Adult Outpatient Pavilion, opening next month, and the VCU Health at GreenGate medical offices, opening in early 2022.

In the Spring 2021 newsletter I announced the stellar results of our rolling 12-month teaching evaluation report. Today, I am proud to follow up with even more impressive news. The current 12-month mean overall score for our clinical faculty is 3.85 out of 4.0, and seven of our faculty members received perfect 4.0 scores. These consistently high scores demonstrate our faculty's commitment to radiology residency education. 

Be well,

~ Ann S. Fulcher, M.D., FACR, FSAR

Safety Culture 2021 AHRQ Survey Results

The VCU Department of Radiology physicians outperformed the 2021 AHRQ Database of 172 participating hospitals and achieved 90th percentile ranking in 5 categories with highest scores in Teamwork and Communication Openness.

Female physician with female resident practicing a procedureVCU Health assessed the culture of safety at the health system using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Safety Culture Survey in July 2021. The anonymous survey ranked individual physician units in 10 categories to derive an overall safety score:

  • Teamwork
  • Staffing and Work Pace
  • Organizational Leadership/Continuous Improvement
  • Responses to Error
  • Supervisor, Manager or Clinical Leader Support for Patient Safety
  • Communication About Error
  • Communication Openness
  • Reporting Patient Safety Events
  • Hospital Management Support for Patient Safety
  • Handoffs and Information Exchanged

The results show the VCU Department of Radiology physicians, including attendings and residents, outperformed in all 10 categories compared to the 2021 AHRQ Database of 172 participating hospitals (87,856 respondents) and VCU Health physicians overall rankings. Radiology physicians also surpassed the national average of teaching hospitals in all 10 categories. Teaching hospitals made up 41% of the participating hospitals.

A radiology resident with an attending physician conducting a CT guided biopsyThe radiology physicians earned an overall safety score of 80 percent with the highest scores in Teamwork, scoring 95 percent, and Communication Openness, scoring 89 percent. The VCU Department of Radiology physicians were in the 90th percentile in 5 categories: Teamwork, Staffing and Work Pace, Organizational Leadership/Continuous Improvement, Responses to Error, and Communication Openness. 

The Department’s leadership attributes the high rankings to a supportive, proactive environment where physicians and staff focus on continuous improvement and problem solving. Radiology physicians are proud of the rankings and will continue efforts to improve reporting and communications while monitoring work pace and making staffing recommendations. The VCU Department of Radiology looks forward to developing new action plans that advance the VCU Health patient safety initiative.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) is a federal agency charged with improving the safety and quality of the U.S. health care system. The agency’s mission, as stated on the AHRQ website, “is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.”

VCU Health Adult Outpatient Pavilion Overview

The VCU Health Adult Outpatient Pavilion design keeps patient access, comfort and convenience top of mind. Opening next month, we wanted share a few of the features:
  • Convenient on-site medical imaging services and reading rooms, including breast imaging CT, diagnostic imaging, fluoroscopy, mammography, MRI and ultrasound
  • Co-located services to ensure efficiency between specialties
  • Collaborative spaces to enhance the research and teaching missions of VCU and VCU Health
  • Easy access to VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center's outpatient care, including medical infusion and radiation oncology
  • Abundant and convenient parking (more than 1,000 spaces) with easy elevator access direct to the pavilion

The Adult Outpatient Pavilion is located at the corner of North 10th and East Leigh streets. The 17-story, 615,000-square-foot building will feature a dedicated tower for outpatient oncology care.

Learn more about the Adult Outpatient Pavilion
VCU Health Adult Outpatient Pavilion Overview
Adult Outpatient Pavilion

VCU Health Breast Imaging Coming to the West End in 2022

Our Breast Imaging section is expanding screening mammography and the latest 3D technology to VCU Health at GreenGate in the West End of Richmond. We are partnering with VCU Health Women’s Health and Gynecology to provide women with the most collaborative and comprehensive medically-advanced clinical care at one convenient location.

Photo Gallery of VCU Health at GreenGate

VCU Health at GreenGate Exterior Entry

Front exterior of V C U Health at GreenGate building

VCU Health at GreenGate View From The Street

Street frontage of V C U Health at Greengate building

VCU Health at GreenGate Interior Entry

Interior entry of the V C U Health at GreenGate building

VCU Health at GreenGate Women's Health Suite Under Construction

Third floor women's health suite under construction at V C U Health at GreenGate

Faculty News

Pei-Jan Paul Lin, Ph.D. co-authored research published in the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics

Pei-Jan Paul Lin, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Division of Diagnostic Medical Physics, co-authored research with Atsushi Fukuda, Nao Ichikawa, and Kosuke Matsubara titled, "Determination of geometric information and radiation field overlaps on the skin in percutaneousPortrait of Pei-Jan Paul Lin, Ph.D. coronary interventions with computer-aided design-based X-ray beam modeling" was accepted for publication by the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics. 

In August, Dr. Lin Professor co-authored research, "Accuracy of half-value layer (HVL) measurements utilizing solid state detectors for radiography and fluoroscopy X-ray systems" that was published in the Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics. 


Drs. Shaimaa Fadl and Mark S. Parker Publish Article in Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging

Shaimaa A. Fadl, MD, MBChB (first author) and Mark S. Parker, MD, FACR (senior author) from the VCU Health Departments of Radiology and Pathology for the publication of, "Minute Pulmonary Meningothelial-like Nodules" in the RSNA journal Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging.

Dr. Fadl is an Assistant Professor and Cardiothoracic Imaging and Emergency Radiology specialist. Dr. Parker is a Professor, in Radiology and Internal Medicine Co-Section Chief of Cardiothoracic Imaging, Thoracic Imaging Fellowship Director and Lung Cancer Screening Program Director.

Follow the link to Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging to read the publication.

Residency Program News

VCU Radiology Residents Recognized for Correct Diagnoses

The VCU Radiology residents receive "Radiology Diagnosis Please" certificate of recognition for submitting the highest number of correct diagnoses for the 12 unknown cases published in Radiology from January 2020 through December 2020.

Group photo of radiology residents in front of school of medicine building with V C U logo