Department to Expand Subspecialty Interpretations at Outpatient Imaging Sites

In an effort to provide patients at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) with the exceptional care they deserve, the Department of Radiology today announced that it will expand subspecialty interpretations currently available at Vanderbilt Outpatient Imaging Centers


The decision to expand these services comes from recommendations made by department faculty at the department’s Strategic Directions Retreat last fall, and is supported by Department of Radiology Chair Reed Omary, M.D., M.S.


“We plan to follow through with this recommendation with a transition that will eventually lead to dissolution of the separate outpatient imaging section, to be replaced with reads by our existing subspecialty sections,” said Omary. 


Over the past 15 years, technology has evolved, impacting all facets of health care, specifically radiology. Historically, most outpatient imaging centers either utilized a Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) that was not integrated with the hospital, or had no PACS at all.  John Ross, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Outpatient Imaging Section Chief, said this limitation required radiologists at those sites to handle the complete volume of daily workload with limited support.


“The department, under Dr. Omary’s leadership, has enjoyed fully-integrated PACS over the past four years, allowing the gradual and ongoing adaptation of subspecialty reads, no matter where the images are acquired,” said Ross. “Our department has always strived to provide the highest level of care, and I believe these technical and cultural changes call for this transition.”


Since becoming Outpatient Section Chief in 2012, Ross has led attendings who rotate at the four Vanderbilt Imaging Services outpatient facilities located across the Nashville metro area. He has asked Morgan Anderson, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiology and Radiological Sciences, to take over as Section Chief during this transition, effective immediately.  


While faculty currently staffing the outpatient imaging sites are expected to remain off site, it is likely that faculty in subspecialty sections will begin to rotate off site to support the increasing workloads and staffing needs of those locations. 


“The culmination of this effort will afford every patient impacted by VUMC’s Department of Radiology the highest level of care, while also allowing our faculty to work closely with colleagues in other departments,” said Anderson. “As a center of excellence with a focus on precision medicine, and a department mission to design and apply technology that benefits patients with the best, most advanced care, we should offer no less.”