Northwest Regional Meeting a Success

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By Scot Duncil, CRA

November 2012—Records were broken in Portland, Oregon as the AHRA Northwest Regional Meeting was held on September 20 with 96 people attending and 4.5 CE hours being awarded. Seven very supportive vendors from the Pacific Northwest also contributed their time and resources to further enhance the first of many more educational events to coming to the Portland area.

Imaging professionals heard speakers share their expertise on the outlook of healthcare in general and how the economy and legislation is expected to impact reimbursement for imaging services in the near and distant future. Healthcare reform couldn’t be discussed without including Meaningful Use and its many anticipated revisions.  Radiology services in the cloud/vendor neutral archives/PACS was a very timely topic as well, and advances in technology were shared that allow images and data to be more accessible and protected.

Another speaker covered the many types and varied uses of contrast and how it impacts us all – from technologists to patients and clinicians – in our daily operations. We learned how the tried and true versions are being replaced or improved upon thanks to research and the development of even more safe and effective and visible enhanced contrasts.

How could we function effectively without our nurses?  One of their most valuable skills is being able to address the varied levels of sedation and anxiolysis that we may obtain the best image quality possible.  Sedation techniques for the pediatric patients are indeed an art, and this topic was reviewed as well and done so in a light yet extremely informative manner, reminding us that “it takes a village” to achieve quality and consistent patient care, especially in diagnostic imaging.

We were very graciously treated to pre, post, and intra session meals and snacks by our vendor partners that included representatives from Bracco, Core Medical Imaging, DoseMonitor, MedRad, OnRad, Inc., Regents Health Resources, and Toshiba.  Each of these vendors was also available before, during, and after the educational sessions to address attendees’ questions or share their insight.  Their ongoing and very generous support of the professionals in diagnostic imaging is very much appreciated.  The number and variety of vendors was also a record for any regional AHRA educational session, and the amount of food and beverages available cannot be beat anywhere, except maybe at the AHRA Annual Meeting!

Extreme thanks are in order to Brenda Rinehart, event coordinator, and her team consisting of Toni Gardner, Art Tasaka, Doug Roberts, and John Ferguson. Coordinating the many speakers and vendors came easily for this group as they all were eager to contribute.  Likewise, the nutrition and radiology staffs of Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center did a fantastic job providing and serving the food and beverages at this first of many Oregon/Southwest Washington events.

Scot Duncil, CRA is the radiology manager at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Portland, OR. He can be reached at

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