The Start of a Great Conference


By Sandra M. Edson, MBA

The AHRA Spring Conference Basic Track attendees received valuable information on day one that will help them manage daily operations in asset management, patient satisfaction, and regulatory and compliance standards. Presenters Kevin Smith, from High Point Regional Health-UNC Healthcare, and Cindy Winter, CRA, FAHRA, from Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, did a great job keeping attendees engaged in their afternoon sessions. Basic Track attendees left the first day of the Spring Conference with a number of tools for capital planning, equipment inventory management, strategic planning, Joint Commission standards, and managing employee satisfaction, which can help drive patient satisfaction. I’d like to share some of my takeaways from these sessions with you.

If you have not kept up with recent Joint Commission changes, it’s time to focus. The days of imaging departments seeing surveyors for a few moments are gone. Cindy shared her experience from her December 2016 survey and imparted the following tips for attendees to focus on:

  • Job descriptions and staff qualifications need to be approved not only by the medical director, but also by the Medical Executive Committee. This includes all imaging staff, staff in EP, angio, and staff in satellite facilities.
  • Modality protocols need to be approved by the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer, in addition to your medical director. Each time a protocol is changed, it must go back for approval.
  • Dosimetry badges and related protocols will be an area of focus.
  • CT, PET, MRI, and other modalities will have to demonstrate and document they have that “Golden Moment,” to include correct patient, procedure, position, and scanning protocols. A process similar to operative and invasive procedures.
  • Lead apron standards continue to be an area of focus, including the way the aprons are hung and maintained, and the disposal process.
  • Metrics tracking MR thermal injuries and ferrous material will need to be shown.

Kevin Smith kicked off the afternoon by sharing information on asset management and capital planning, including tools to help leaders prepare return on investments (ROI). Later in the afternoon he presented on patient satisfaction, pay for performance, and employee engagement. Kevin’s presentation was very interactive, and attendees were able to see him demonstrate the tools he uses during daily huddles to keep staff engaged, by seeing what gets in their way of doing their job daily. He stressed that before patient issues can be addressed, the staff need to be engaged. Some of the tools he shared during the session include huddle boards, visual controls, and a process to keep metrics, analysis, and ideas together. Many concepts where shared during this last session of the day.

At the conclusion of the first afternoon of the Basic Track, attendees had a lot to discuss with each other over dinners out in Savannah. What a great way to start this year’s Spring Conference!


Sandra M. Edson, MBA is the director of imaging and women’s wellness center at St. Joseph-Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, CA. She can be reached at sandra.edson@stjoe.org.

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