Leadership Learning at Its Best


rachel-johnsonBy Rachel H. Johnson, BS, RT(R)(N), CNMT

When my director recommended I apply for the Partners in Learning program, I was excited about the possibility of visiting another healthcare facility and learning from other radiology professionals. I have attended several online and in person offerings through AHRA and have always been impressed by the speakers sharing their leadership experiences. My trip to IU Health Methodist in Indianapolis more than lived up to the quality I have come to expect from AHRA. As a relatively new imaging manager, I hoped to expand my knowledge of different leadership styles and philosophies and supplement the didactic education I was receiving; the trip proved so much more fruitful than I had expected.

I was welcomed into IU Health like family. There was a real sense of warmth and camaraderie amongst the leadership team, and I immediately felt comfortable. My host welcomed my many questions and encouraged my curiosity with many reciprocal questions about my facility and our management style. I learned that IU Health utilizes many of the AHRA management tools, such as the productivity benchmarks, in their daily operations, and they were eager to show me how they worked in “real life.” IU Health uses these numbers to develop their annual budget for each modality, mirroring their staffing against the AHRA’s recommendations. In addition, we discussed staffing levels and scheduling, patient satisfaction, and staff engagement at length, and I learned a lot about the many management tools available from AHRA to assist in making operational decisions regarding these issues.

IU Health was similar in many ways to my healthcare system, and I was grateful for the opportunity to share ideas, concerns, and questions with the extremely capable leadership team. There was a culture of shared responsibility within the leadership team that I admired. Each supervisor and lead technologist knew what their responsibility was to the organization in regards to staffing, finance, engagement, and satisfaction. They understood accountability – both to the healthcare system and to their management and administration. I was inspired to come back to my own facility and share what I had observed with my group.

Everywhere I went I encountered the same level of enthusiasm and accountability. Staff understood the mission as clearly as leadership; everyone was on the same page. The imaging department was a cohesive group, which spoke volumes to the high level of leadership at this organization. IU Health has a talented group at its helm, evident by the level of engagement throughout.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to visit this healthcare organization and thank the AHRA Education Foundation and GE for making this visit happen. I am currently pursuing a healthcare MBA, and although education is extremely important, nothing compares to the real life learning that the Partners in Learning program provides. If you have ever wondered how others do it, this program is a great opportunity to see for yourself… and meet some really great people while you’re at it. It is truly leadership learning at its best!


Rachel H. Johnson, BS, RT(R)(N), CNMT is the manager, imaging services at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, FL. She can be reached at rajohnson@mhs.net.

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