In Every Issue


By AHRA Staff

April 2010–Did You Know?

Did you know that Osborn Scholarships are available for each of AHRA’s major conferences? Click here to submit your application for an upcoming conference today.


April AHRA Webinar:
Load Balancing Emergent Imaging Studies through Teleradiology

By Ernie Stewart RT(R), CRA, MBA, MHSA

Presented by: Marty Khatib, JD, RT(R)

Imaging volume in a hospital setting is highly variable, to say the least.  The patient exam load is contingent on the emergency room physicians, patients in the house, and then there are the walk-in outpatients, all of which contribute to a turbulent work flow and increased turnaround times.  We as department directors and managers are held accountable for managing our productivity in this type of environment that we have little to no control over—or do we?

What key counter measures can we take to help combat this challenge?  One of the most effective tools available is “load balancing” through the use of teleradiology.  This approach allows the radiology department the opportunity to respond to unscheduled changes in exam volumes in a timely manner.  Specifically, taking advantage of teleradiology services will allow you to have the appropriate number of radiologists to meet the ever changing demands of the department, without increasing unnecessary costs.

In this presentation Marty Khatib will tell you how he was able to implement teleradiology in a high volume hospital setting and address the challenges of doing so.  He will also share his knowledge and experience of decreasing report turnaround times, especially on “off-shifts,” while at the same time improving radiologist recruitment and retention.  If these issues are keeping you awake at night (literally or figuratively), you will want make sure and register for this webinar ASAP.

This webinar will be presented on Thursday April 22, 2010 from 1:00-2:30 pm EST.  Register now by clicking here.


New Members

The staff and members of AHRA warmly welcome the following new members!

Candy Allen, Mulvane, KS
Lauris Beam, New Brunswick, NJ
J. Nicholas Bennett, Boulder, CO
Linda Bush, Dallas, PA
Randy Carr, Maryville, TN
Mary-Ellen Cleveland, North Bergen, NJ
Angie Creamer, Sturgeon, MO
Fred Desarno, New York, NY
Kenny Duckworth, Nashville, TN
Scott Easter, Mt. Pleasant, SC
Margarete Erwin, La Mesa, CA
Mary Dawn Foster, Columbia, TN
Gary Gillan, East Hartford, CT
J. Elise Gregory, Benbrook, TX
Darrell Hinton, Riverton, UT
David Howell, Meridian, MS
Allison Kroger, Newnan, GA
Becky Lockhart, Bedford, TX
Tim McGarry, San Diego, CA
Susan Merick, Poplar Bluff, MO
Toni Musick, Bakersfield, CA
Melissa O’Malley, Covington, LA
Nalini Perkins, Washington, DC
Roseann Pickett, Anchorage, AK
Patricia Popp, Tucson, AZ
Albert Porras, Houston, TX
Matt Romo, Jackson, MN
Teresa Stepanski, Ft. Worth, TX
Jennifer Traceski, San Diego, CA
Genie Vaughn, Nashville, TN
Kreg Vaughn, Cookeville, TN
Scott Wampler, Festus, MO
Shereen Youssef, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Do you know someone who can benefit from an AHRA membership? Let us know! Send the contact information to our membership department at memberservices@ahraonline.org. If your referral joins, you’ll be listed here as well!


Online Institute Featured Webinar

Recognizing that today’s medical imaging leaders need high-quality information that is easily accessible, AHRA designed the Online Institute to provide courses (Quick Credit articles, conference sessions, and webinars) in a wide array of subject areas that are relevant to the profession. These courses are approved for ARRT Category A Continuing Education (CE) credit.  Participants can easily login, select a course, take a test, get the results, and print the CE letter all in the same visit.

This month’s featured archived webinar from the Online Institute is

Patient Satisfaction: The Bigger Picture
By William R. Johnson Summa-Wadsworth Rittman Hospital, Wadsworth, OH

There is much more to patient satisfaction than valet parking, free coffee, smiling and “being nice”. A multitude of complex organizational and departmental factors impact the patient’s experience and influences the patient’s post-service scoring on a satisfaction survey. Organizational culture, employee engagement and patient expectations are three key factors that directly impact the patient’s experience. The interface between organizational representatives and the patient takes place “in the trenches” where service is delivered and the patient’s experiences unfold. During this session participants will learn how patient expectations, organizational culture and employee engagement influence satisfaction outcomes. Participants will be able to identify the key drivers of patient satisfaction and develop strategies to prioritize patient satisfaction improvement efforts. The session will also provide participants examples of how specific interpersonal techniques, practiced by organizational representatives, result in favorable patient satisfaction outcomes.

You will learn to:

  • Identify the ways in which organizational culture, employee engagement and patient expectations impacts the patient’s experience and resulting satisfaction.
  • Identify the key drivers of patient satisfaction and develop strategies to prioritize patient satisfaction improvement efforts.
  • Focus efforts on improving interpersonal interactions between patient and staff “in the trenches” that enhances the patient’s experience and drives overall patient satisfaction.

To view this and other archived webinars, Quick Credit articles, and conference sessions, and to take the associated CE exams, click here.


From the List Server

The AHRA List Server is an online tool that allows you to network with other imaging professionals, in one common place.  Many AHRA members take advantage of this exclusive member benefit and use the List Server daily to share valuable information with their peers.

Below is a recent discussion:

“For those of you in a hospital setting who do outpatient procedures requiring contrast administration after the radiologist has gone for the day, how are you meeting the clarified 2010 CMS requirements of ‘Physician Supervision’?

If you have your emergency physicians providing the supervision, how are you meeting the intent of, “The physician must be present in the office suite and immediately available to furnish assistance and direction throughout the performance of the procedure and it is reasonable for the physician that supervises the provision of the services to be knowledgeable about those tests”?

In the CMS clarification for 2010, it states that hospitals must follow the same rules for physician supervision of their outpatient tests as those tests performed in a non-hospital setting.  The change is from when CMS first issued the requirements for physician supervision of diagnostic tests and indicated that the requirements applied only to tests performed in a non-hospital setting (eg, office).

Thanks in advance for any responses received!”

–Denise Pugh

* The poster of this list server question would like to clarify that this CMS clarification applies only for non critical access.  CMS delayed it for CAH.

Responses

We cover with urgent care docs that are located in the same building.”

— “Our hospitalists cover the contrast injections for us.  We are not a very big hospital so they can respond quickly if needed.”

— “Our ER is immediately next to our CT scanner so the ER physician covers for ER patient,s which is what we do on weekends and between the hours of 6 pm and 8 am on Monday through Friday.”

— “Per department policy, the ED physician will provide ‘supervision’ when radiologists are not in house.”

— “My understanding is that this works for ED patients, but if you have contrast injections for outpatients not coming through the ED, you cannot use the ED physicians to cover for these injections.”

— “That is my understanding also.  The few outpatients we do on the weekends are done when the radiologists are here in the morning.”

— “I think I see what you are saying [Denise]. Is JCAHO [sic] going to split hairs about the supervision in the suite? I don’t think they will. I recently had a list of “hot areas” for JCAHO and that was not on the list.

“Our policy says the ED is first to cover and then one of the hospitalists when the ED physician is unavailable. For our off-campus outpatient center, we do not give contrast when the radiologist is not there, early morning, lunch, and late afternoon.”

— “Who covers any other area of the hospital when there is a code? For example, IPs: lab patient has an episode of syncope, person presenting for a flu shot has a reaction to the shot . . . you see, they immediately become an emergency patient, so the radiology injection should be no different.

For more information about AHRA’s List Server, click here.

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