Radiology Faculty Co-author Abstract Accepted for Presentation by VUSM Student at 2017 ATS and ACR Meetings

Radiology faculty Alexis Paulson, R.N., and Kim Sandler, M.D., are co-authors of an abstract recently accepted for presentation by third-year Vanderbilt University School of Medicine student Carolyn Scott at the 2017 American Thoracic Society and American College of Radiology meetings.

Paulson and Dr. Sandler, who help lead the Vanderbilt Lung Screening Program, worked with Scott during her fall 2016 Radiology immersion course to develop preliminary data for the abstract, “Lung and Breast Screening Practices in Women: Use of a Selection Algorithm to Increase Enrollment in a Lung Screening Program.”

In their review of patients currently enrolled in the Lung Screening Program, it was determined that nearly all of the women had undergone recent breast screening. Therefore, the initial strategy to increase enrollment in the program was to target OB/Gyn providers who routinely order mammograms but may not know about lung screening.

“The investigation showed that while OB/Gyn providers did not order any lung screening exams, they accounted for less than 20 percent of mammography referrals for women in the program,” said Dr. Sandler.

Although they ultimately decided not to target OB/Gyn physicians, the data was presented to VUMC medical oncologist Dr. Travis Osterman who had previously designed an algorithm to identify smoking histories in the medical record. They collaborated with Dr. Osterman to apply that algorithm to women who underwent screening mammography at One Hundred Oaks (OHO) and Cool Springs outpatient imaging centers in 2015 where lung screening was also available. Scott reviewed the records of women who might qualify for the program, and of the 251 women who had screening mammograms at OHO and Cool Springs, and who also qualified for lung screening, only 31 are currently enrolled in the Lung Screening Program.

“She has done a tremendous job acquiring and compiling the data,” said Dr. Sandler. “It has now been used to develop a randomized clinical trial protocol to assess intervention strategies for increasing enrollment of women in our screening program.”

Scott, who is also a co-leader of the Vanderbilt Radiology Interest Group, will present the results of their abstract as an oral presentation and ePoster at consecutive ATS and ACR meetings in Washington, D.C., in May. 

The Vanderbilt Lung Screening Program is a comprehensive program that offers annual lung screening CT and management by a Radiology NP who performs a shared decision making visit with the patient, offers tobacco cessation counseling, informs patients and referring providers of CT results, assists with referrals to specialists, tracks patients for follow-up compliance, and sends reminders to patients for annual follow-up screenings.