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VCU Health Radiology named national center of excellence

One of only 16 academic medical facilities nationwide to receive this prestigious designation

Doctors with patient and imaging machine

By Esther Benenson

VCU Health Radiology has been designated a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence® (DICOE) by the American College of Radiology (ACR). This prestigious three-year designation represents the pinnacle of medical imaging care, going beyond accreditation to recognize highest achievement in imaging practices and diagnostic care.

Among adult imaging centers, VCU Health is the only health system to earn this designation in Richmond and the only academic medical center in Virginia to achieve it. VCU Health is one of only 16 academic medical facilities nationwide to receive this designation.  

“Our department can take great pride in this achievement, as this designation is validation of our ongoing commitment to quality care, patient safety and efficiency,” said Ann S. Fulcher, M.D., chair of the VCU Department of Radiology.

Every element of care examined

The DICOE designation recognizes excellence at multiple levels — including the professional staff, the equipment and the policies and procedures in place to ensure patient safety and superior care.

“It isn’t enough to have great machines, but we must also have great people who know how to operate those machines and interpret the results,” Fulcher said.

Whereas accreditation requires the completion of paperwork and the submission of images, DICOE requires a comprehensive assessment by the ACR to inspect and evaluate the entire medical imaging enterprise, including technology, practices and patient outcomes.  

“Our radiation safety program is recognized nationally and internationally,” Fulcher said. “We speak at conferences, both here and abroad, and our papers are published and cited.”  

DICOE designation recognizes a higher level of patient care and an exceptional dedication to safety. This designation is the result of teamwork and collaboration, she said.

Every imaging modality recognized

All VCU Health imaging centers within the metro-Richmond area fall under the center of excellence designation. These include all downtown facilities, such as the Adult Outpatient Pavilion, Main Hospital and Gateway, plus Stony Point 9000 and the Short Pump Pavilion.

Diagnostic imaging include:

  • CT scans
  • Mammography
  • MRI scans
  • PET scan
  • Ultrasound
  • Radiography

The ACR, founded in 1924, is one of the largest and most influential medical associations in the United States. The ACR devotes its resources to making imaging and radiation therapy safe, effective and accessible to those who need it. Its 38,000 members include radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists, interventional radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians.

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