In Every Issue


By AHRA Staff

May 2010–Did You Know?

Did you know that 15 years of Radiology Management articles are archived in a searchable database on AHRA’s Web site? Click here for more information.


Check out AHRA’s Emeritus Status and Dues Waiver Program

Are you leaving your job due to retirement or layoffs?  Keep your AHRA membership active through our Emeritus and Dues Wavier programs.

Emeritus Status
In recognition of the loyalty and contributions of its long-standing members, AHRA established an Emeritus status. In order to be eligible for Emeritus status, an AHRA member must have a total of 15 years of current AHRA membership at the time of the request and no longer be employed in healthcare.

Individuals awarded AHRA Emeritus status may not vote or hold elected office but may continue to provide volunteer service to the organization.

Benefits of AHRA Emeritus status include:

  • Waiver of membership dues (Please Note:  Annual renewal of Emeritus status is required)
  • Access to the AHRA online membership directory
  • Subscription to AHRA’s monthly enewsletter, Link
  • Subscription to AHRA’s online List Server
  • Additional 10% discount off member prices for select AHRA products (eg, books, surveys)
  • Waiver of conference or seminar registration at one AHRA conference or seminar annually upon request
  • Reduced subscription fee (equal to half the regular subscription rate) for Radiology Management

To apply for Emeritus status, contact us online or call 800-334-2472.

Dues Waiver Program
The AHRAEF wishes to support members who have become unemployed by offering “AHRA’s Education Foundation Transition Package for Radiology Administrators.”

AHRA members who have become unemployed can apply for an extension of their AHRA membership, for up to one year, while the AHRA Education Foundation waives the membership dues.  Certain qualifications must be met and an application needs to be submitted.  Once accepted, the member will receive the full benefits of AHRA membership.

Dues Waiver Qualifications:

  • Current AHRA member
  • Currently unemployed and actively seeking employment in radiology management
  • Not working as a consultant

1.    Application for dues waiver must be submitted to AHRA.

2.    Once approved, the member will be notified of acceptance.

3.    After 6 months, the member will be billed for dues, but may continue the dues waiver by notifying AHRA of unemployed status.

4.    Upon employment, member will notify AHRA immediately.  Membership may be continued on a paid basis at that time.

To find out if you qualify for the Dues Waiver program, click here.


May AHRA Webinar: Patient Safety Across Medical Imaging Services

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

Presented by: William R. Johnson CRA, MBA, RT(R)

If you have been in the radiology field for any length of time, you will remember how the term “patient safety” was primarily used in conjunction with collimation, shielding, preventing falls from the x-ray table, and questioning the patient about allergies to “shellfish and strawberries” before injecting contrast. But over the last several years, that context has been changing and is still in the process of changing today. This new emphasis has expanded the scope of patient safety, which now encompasses a very broad spectrum of criteria both with the medical imaging department and across the entire organizational continuum of care.

Many organizations such as The Joint Commission, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the National Institute of Health (NIH) are leading the way and holding hospitals and healthcare providers accountable for providing the highest levels of care and patient safety possible. This ever-expanding focus on patient safety has required most imaging departments to rewrite many of their processes and procedures. Not only must medical imaging departments continue to focus on minimizing radiation exposure and safe contrast use, a large number of new safety issues have been placed on the table requiring equal attention.

The presenter for this webinar is William R. Johnson CRA, MBA, RT(R).  William has been a radiology director for 17 years and has experienced the shift in the focus on safety. He has successfully created a culture of safety in his department, with a focus on improving processes with evidenced based outcomes.

As an attendee of this webinar, you will learn to:

  • Identify the most common organizations behind the patient safety movement and their areas of focus.
  • Identify methods of compliance for the most common patient safety requirements.
  • Identify valuable reference resources to keep abreast of rapidly changing patient safety requirements.

This webinar will be presented on Thursday May 27, 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!

Ronda Anderson, Sitka, AK
Terry Anderson, Roswell, NM
John Astrab, Tampa, FL
Kerri Barlow, Sheveport, LA
Benjamin Bartel, Lehi, UT
Lisa Bowles, Richmond, VA
Patricia Bracknell, Birmingham, AL
Michele Bultje, Columbus, OH
Wayne Couture, Milan, NH
David Daugherty, Jr., Azle, TX
Sue Davis, Belvidere, IL
Mary Beth Fair, Sallisaw, OK
Jody Freeman, Grand Island, NE
Susan Gauntt, College Park, GA
Carmela Gonzalez, Chicago, IL
Janet Harp, Springfield, MA
Stephen Harpole, Starkville, MS
Kim Kuhl, Red Wing, MN
Kimberly Moore, Scottsdale, AZ
Jessica Nachreiner, St. James, MN
Mary Ann Sparks, Philadelphia, PA
Dawn Ungersma, Portola, CA
Michael Veesart, Douglass, KS
Charlene Vent, Rochester, NY
Holly Walters, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Bonnie Zook, Great Falls, MT

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 Feature

Webinar: Marketing to Referring Physicians
By Kim Longeteig

Marketing is one of the most important things you can do in business today. Competition for your service continues to increase with each passing day. Marketing centers on generating new customers, motivating them to use your service and pleasing them enough to return over and over. This session will help you focus your marketing by understanding your customers, formalizing your marketing plan and ensuring your service is recognized as the best in your community.

You will learn to:

  • Identify your customers and their needs.
  • Develop a plan that is measurable.
  • Grow segments of your service you wish to promote.

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:

“Just a curious question to the group about your ‘connection’ to work.  It struck me the other day just how connected some of my peers are to their job and I wondered if it is by their own design or if it is a requirement.  I will use the term ‘Blackberry’ as a generic term for all devices used to send or receive phone calls, email, text messages, access internet, etc.

  1. How many of you have some sort of Blackberry?
  2. Is this your personal device or is it issued by your employer?
  3. Are your work emails and voice mails tied to your device?
  4. Whether personal or issued by your employer, do you respond to voicemail and/or email 24/7?
  5. Does you employer require (or have an unwritten expectation) you to respond to all voice mail and/or email daily?
  6. Do any of you carry a beeper/pager?

“I continue to be amazed to see how many of my colleagues seem to be abnormally attached to their Blackberry device.  They are constantly reviewing something on the device during meetings and responding to emails at all hours of the day, even when they are on vacation.  At a recent work related seminar, I was amazed to scan the room during the various presentations and see how many people we reviewing something on their devices as the speaker was presenting . . . hummm.  Then at the break, I’d estimate that 90% of the people were on the phone, texting, emailing, etc.  Me, I simply went to the bathroom, and while there, many were multi-tasking at the urinal with their device.

“At any rate, a little about me.  (1) I have a basic flip phone.  (2) No internet access on my phone.  (3) Work related email and voicemail are not tied to my cell phone. (4) I don’t have one of those ear piece devices.  (5) I send and/or receive about 2 text messages a month, and that is 2 to many.  (6) My cell phone is not on 24/7.  (7) If I am on vacation, I do not answer work related emails and/or voicemails, otherwise I’m not really on vacation. (8) I never carry my personal cell phone on me at work.  It is in my briefcase at my desk.  Rarely if ever do I check it prior to the end of the day.  (9)  Finally, I have never sent or received a Twitter nor do I have a Facebook account.  That felt good!

Curious to see the responses!

–Robert Jacoby, BBA, CRA, RT(R)

Responses

I am with you!  I have a cell phone and use it as a phone (I do not text).  It my personal phone; I do not have a cell phone for work.  I do have a pager.  I can check my emails on my PC from home and I will do that if I am off for a few days, but I generally just read them and do not reply back to them.  If anything is urgent I will forward to one of the managers to handle.  At work, I use email; however, I still prefer a phone call or a walk to someone’s office.  You can not replace good old fashioned communication skills with an electronic gadget.  Emails can be read many different ways and sometimes you just have to ask the person or see them face-to-face to get the entire picture.   I do prefer email when contacting sales reps, as I usually am sending or requesting info and do not want to take the time to speak to them on the phone.

I have two good friends who have the latest gadget phones.  We go to lunch together several times a week in the cafeteria and they will sit there answering their emails, etc.  I have told them that is rude and to put them down and enjoy their lunch times.  They are so obsessed about their phones.  (They are also considerably younger than I!)

— I must be a fairly abnormal one!

1. I have a Blackberry
2. It is my personal device
3. I am adding internet so that I can get e-mail
4. I do respond regularly
5. My employer does not require me to respond; I determine based on the significance of the issue
6. I do carry a pager
.

On vacation, that just depends.  Most of mine are somewhere tropical and I do not generally respond. That too depends on the situation and my supervisor and secretary have my cell number and field the situations for me!

— Yes, my Blackberry serves all those purposes.  Issued by employer.  I respond to emails, etc mostly during work hours, but some after hours.  I don’t carry a beeper anymore, and I love that.  If I leave on vacation, I do not do the email thing until my return; supervisors handle emergent situations.

— I have a pager and that’s it. As far as I know, twitter is what a bird does and blackberries are for eating. When I go on vacation, or otherwise am out of town, there is a designated charge tech and the pager stays home. I check emails and voicemails only when I’m at the hospital.  Folks who feel they must constantly check this or that have forgotten what someone more famous than I am once said: “Cemeteries are full of indispensable people.”

Robert, you and I share a common un-connectivity.  My computer skill level is very high and I spend about nine or ten hours a day at work and home on the PC.  THAT IS ENOUGH!

I work very hard and do my best to help my subordinates be independent thinkers and problem solvers. Believe it or not, thank goodness, no one has died because they could not text, call, or view me after hours. Yes, I know that not having a Crackberry is a disadvantage to others because they are unable to pawn issues off on me, but they and I surprisingly survive quite well. I do not desire to be continuously connected because I want and do actually enjoy my life after hours and prefer to talk on my phone rather than type on it. If I am not physically here, then I am simply not available.

— I admit it, I’m addicted to my Blackberry.  Well, I feel better now.  The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem.

— 1) Yes: Motorola Q.  (My friend calls it a Crackberry, since it’s like a drug he can’t let go of).  2) Personal, but use it mainly for work.  3) Yes, that is my choice.  4) Depends on topic and need of response, but I do check it all the time.  Again, my choice.  5) Unwritten.  6) Nope, gave it up for a smart phone.

— I consider myself a techy type and often enjoy technology. For a few years I was tied at the hip to my work via my wireless device and it became intolerable. When my employer changed to encrypted phones, I decided not to pursue the new type. It has been a blessing. I feel I have been more productive and sane. I see my peers at meetings just as you describe.  My new motto is to “simplify” my life. I don’t see a need to be connected to a wireless device.  Personally, I found myself to be more productive since.

— 1) I do; not a Blackberry, but the Wing. I love it.  2) Mine.  3) Just emails.  4) I Do.  5) Unwritten.  We wear many hats, but communicate as needed.  Some here do not.  6) I used to, but I chose one over the other, both is too much.  I do not tweeter [sic] or do Facebook, after being on the computer all day at work.  No way; however, for professional reasons, I am on LinkedIn (I invite any of you all to network with me should you choose), and belong to a variety of groups, such as this one, to listen and learn.

— To each his own . . . I have a Blackberry. It is my personal device. I get work email on it and personal texts as well. I do not respond 24/7; 7 am to 11 pm maybe! I am not required to respond to all emails or voicemails daily. It is a personal choice. I choose to respond because if I don’t, that inbox just gets too out of hand. I do not carry a beeper. They have my email, cell phone number, office number, and home number. If I can’t be reached at one of them, I can’t be reached. Period!  Now with that being said, I still prefer a face to face sometimes and, depending on the situation, a phone call is appropriate. But I do feel I get much more done with all my devices. Hard to imagine life without them.

I don’t have a Blackberry, but I’m available by phone or beeper for emergency or urgent needs 24/7. I do check emails from home, but not always. There is an expectation for us to handle our problems when needed, just part of the job. However, vacations are different in terms of accessibility.  I must admit, in my early years I spent a lot more time working. Now, I try hard to balance work and family. Life is too short to miss out on family; they are my highest priority!

1) Yes.  2) Personal but 99% used for business.  3) Yes.  4) Yes.  5) It’s an unwritten rule.  6) Not anymore; they call or text me.

— I have a smart phone that is work issued, in addition to a pager. The expectation is that I am available (when not on vacation), not that I respond to emails or voicemail while away from the office.  I do not automatically get emails; I still have to sync to my email account manually, and yes I do this while on vacation. I have a good group of supervisors; that’s not really the reason. I mainly do it to view the junk and delete to save myself some hours when I get back. I have to admit that it is hard to just forget about work even when on vacation though.

— 1) iPhone.  2) Personal.  3) Yes.  4) If it seems important to me, otherwise, no.  5) If we are at work, we are to respond within 24 hours but not if we are out. If we are out, we are asked to set our voicemail message and email assistant accordingly.  6) Not since I got a smart phone.  I do check my email regularly but I don’t consider it a big deal; my employer is good to me and I like my job so it doesn’t seem like a burden.  I do it because I want to; nobody makes me be connected.

— It’s OCD.  I use a Blackberry—personal, my own business, and the hospital.  It is expected that emergent issues be dealt with.  I check it frequently, and if needed, respond.  There are supervisors and charge techs who deal with routine issues.  In my side business, there aren’t emergencies, but clients who sometimes want information at odd times.  But, they understand their answers come when I’m not on the clock at the hospital.  If on vacation, I still scan e-mails/messages from all sources.  But it gets looked at when feasible.  Nights it gets switched to phone alerts only for both personal and work emergencies.

— 1) Smartphone.  2) Employer.  3) Both.  4) Yes, within reason.  5)  Unwritten.  6) No.

1) iPhone.  2) Personal and I use it for work also. 3) No.  I do access my work emails from the Web on my phone, and I dial in to get my work voicemails. 4) Yes, if I have service (there are spots where I have no service, including my parents’ house, so if I’m there, my phone doesn’t ring). 5) No.  I, however, have no one to do my work when I am gone, so rather than come back to hundreds of emails, I’d rather check my e-mails while I’m off so that I am not overloaded on my first day back from vacation. 6) No.  They have my cell phone number and home phone number.

I do not respond to emails while on vacation; however, I do any other day/time.  We do not have a policy in place that requires us to respond to voicemail or email within 24 hours.  1)  I do not own an ear piece.  2) I do text—A LOT.  As a matter of fact, that is how a majority of my staff get a hold of me (because they are all big texters as well).

3) My cell phone is on 24/7 because I am also the PACS administrator for the facility.

I have not caved into the Blackberry craze yet and so far it is not required by my hospital.  We could have one if we wanted to.  I would have to pay up front, and then I would be reimbursed for the cost.  I check my emails and voicemails enough on the weekends as it is and being tied to the Blackberry would be more of a distraction and excuse to not spend time with my family.  There is no requirement that I check my emails or voicemails on weekends or when I am on vacation, but I suspect there is more then me who check on a routine basis.

I do not Twitter and I tried a couple of times to Facebook. The real deal is that I have learned that family and my own health is what is really important in life. The “powers that be” may love that you are married to work, but at the end of the day, you can and may be replaced one day. There is not a marriage license in that relationship. Please do not let your beautiful life slip by while you have your face in a Blackberry, iPhone, smart phone, etc.  1) No, a flip phone.  2) Employer.  3) No.  4) Depends on the call and issue. The sign of a great leader is that they can leave and others will carry the torch.  If I receive a call or text, it is normally to just keep me informed or something tragic has happened.  5) Not expected to. If at a work related event, I will check. However, if I am on vacation or a day off, I may receive a text or call but will not respond unless, once again, there has been a tragedy or something has really, really gone wrong.  6) No, changed it for a flip phone.

— 1) iPhone.  2) Personal.  3) Push email to phone, I dial into phone system to check voicemail.  4) If I’m away from the office, or expecting an important message, yes.  After hours I don’t.  If someone needs me they can get me on my iPhone because I keep it with me at all times. 5) No written policy.  They expect me to do whatever it takes to get the job done.  Normally if it is after hours and it needs to be taken care of, I get a call.  If it can wait till the next day, it goes to my voicemail or email. 6) No, just iPhone.

— Answers: 1) no Blackberry, just a flip phone (but I’m on the fence); 2) My own phone; 3) No, not connected; 4) I respond as needed to calls; 5) the hospital expects I will do what needs to be done to run the department; 6) Yes, I carry a pager.

Overall, I tend to side with the group that prefers to keep a larger balance between work and real life.  To me, they are definitely two separate things.  My message for staff is “If you need to call me, you must call me.  If you don’t need to call, then I trust you to make the best decision you can and we will talk in the morning”.  I think most folks have good sense and can make good decisions if given an opportunity.  Over time, this has worked well.

I also agree with some of the comments about the electronic media taking over our lives.  It is rare for any meeting, nevermind a meal, not to be interrupted by a text, page, or call.  That so many folks automatically answer baffles me.  What does it say when a society values the interruptions more than the activity that is interrupted?  I don’t mind so much the texting in the bathroom, but the actual conversations in there are way too much info, both ways.

Yes, I know, I’m a dinosaur . . .

— 1) iPhone.  2) Personal.  3) Not yet.  4) Seven days a week, but not always 24 hours.  5) Yes.  6) No.

— My response has little or nothing to do with staff; the managers take care of all of that.  I (and I suppose everyone else) get email from all kinds of places: the managers, my peers, my VP, jokes, Aunt Minnie, Advisory Board, SG2, Rasmussen, vendors (delete), Apple, Amazon, stuff about truck parts, lawnmowers, technology, family, all kinds of stuff. I’m kind of an information junkie: I’ll read just about anything. If you see me in a meeting reading email, it is usually for 2 reasons: the meeting ran out of actual content 5 minutes ago and I’m bored (that might actually be the same reason).  You probably would see a lot less texting and email checking if meetings were 20 minutes long and not conveniently and routinely scheduled for an hour.

— 1) iPhone.  2) Personal.  3) NOPE.  4) Most issues handled by manager/leads, but I am available 24/7.  5) No, but I do.  It is my commitment to my responsibilities.  6) Yes.

As with everything, happy medium on the issue is the winner.

— 1) I have a Blackberry.  2) Blackberry issued by hospital.  3) I get my work and home emails to my Blackberry.  I do not get voicemail forward from my office phone and I don’t want it.  Voicemail can wait until I get to the office.  4) I respond to emails if I think they are important and I have to opportunity to respond.  I’ll get emails late at night because someone is working from home.  Could be my boss (COO) or chief, or my assistant.  I will reply if the issue is urgent or even if it is convenient for me to reply.   5) We are expected to reply to voicemail within one business day unless on vacation/off duty. (Except calls from vendors I don’t want to talk to.)  6) Pages are forwarded to my Blackberry.

The key to using a Blackberry is to know when to ignore it or turn it off.  Some people have trouble with this.  That is why Blackberrys are also called “Crackberrys.”  Just to add:  Listserver messages do not go to my Blackberry. I do not use Twitter or Facebook.

— 1) Yes.  2) No/Yes.  3) Email-yes, voicemail-no.  4) No to operations, yes to regulatory/safety.  5) Absolutely, though not written.  Common sense and courtesy.  6) A what?  I did in the last century, but not the last decade of that century.

1) No.  2) Cell phone, and no, not issued by employer.  3) No. But I have a VPN from my home to the HIS and PACS.  4) No, but I try when I am not on vacation.  5) No.  6) I carry my cell 24/7.

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

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