By Kimlyn N. Queen, CRA, FAHRA, MS
January 2014—“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” Hal Borland
We are not closing the book on 2013, we are merely starting a new chapter for 2014, building on the accomplishments, experiences, and lessons learned from a successful 2013 for the CRA and RACC.
To begin, I would like to take a moment to thank commissioner Ron Barak RT (R) BHS, MBA, CRA, FAHRA and public member Capt. Benjamin G. M. Feril, MSC, USN, Ret., for their dedication and service to the CRA and RACC. Ron and Ben will be missed and we wish them well in their future endeavors.
Based on the results of our 2013 RACC elections, I would like to congratulate commissioner Bruce Hammond, CRA, MA, on being re-elected for another three year term and welcome our newest commissioner Bette Drescher, CRA, and our new public member commissioner Sheryl M. Jackson.
Prior to the November 2013 CRA exam, the RACC offered discounted exam fees for the November exam to people who had previously taken the CRA exam between 2002 and 2009. Since the initial exam in 2002, we have grown to over 1,000 CRAs with 126 new CRAs in 2013. These are the right results that emerged from the right thoughts and right efforts of the original RACC, the AHRA, and CareStream (formerly Kodak) over eleven years ago.
In 2013, the RACC made it a priority to provide current CRAs and future CRAs with networking opportunities. In February 2013 the CRA expanded its social media presence by starting a LinkedIn page which currently has 142 active members. Ryan Ocampo, AHRA’s Senior Website Administrator, completed work on a redesign of the CRA website with new graphics and improved navigation. The new website went live at the existing address in November 2013..The CRA Facebook page is also active with 189 ”likes.”
The RACC also conducted a survey of CRAs on the CRA renewal process. In response to the survey results, the AHRA has created an online report with all the information necessary to use AHRA credits on the CRA renewal in one place. This new tool can be located here. Also, beginning with the 2013 Annual Meeting, AHRA speaker letters now contain instructions for using presentation development for CRA renewal credit in addition to the information on using it for ARRT renewal credit.
To help ensure CRA reference materials remain current, the RACC reviewed the second edition of the AHRA textbook Financial Management in Radiologyand determined it to be an acceptable substitute to the first edition for CRA exam preparations. The RACC also published a second practice test in September with 40 additional practice test questions for a total of 90 available CRA exam practice questions.
Marketing continues to be a primary focus of the RACC. An article was published in the June/July issue of the ASRT Scanner focusing on commissioners Ron Barak and Rick Perez’s journeys from technologist to manager including the role the CRA played in their paths. An additional article on learning and education, in the same issue, also included information on the CRA. In 2013, we continued to send out information packets to imaging societies, human resource staff, the Joint Commission, and the ACR. If you would like more information about these packets or if you would like one mailed to your organization’s HR executive, please contact any RACC Commissioner or Kathryn Keeler, CRA Certification Coordinator, at KKeeler@CRAinfo.org.
To further our marketing efforts into 2014 and to reach out to radiology business managers, the RACC will be running three ads in the RBMA Bulletin journal in 2014. Also, to help increase recognition of the CRA among healthcare HR professionals, the RACC will be running an ad in the Spring 2014 issue of the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration’s HR Pulse journal.
We continue to provide a CRA booth and promotional materials at the AHRA Spring and Fall Conferences, the AHRA Annual Meeting, the RBMA’s Radiology Summit, and at RSNA.
For the first time in 2013, commissioner Mark Steffen, CRA, FAHRA, hosted a CRA and future CRA breakfast at the AHRA Spring Conference, and commissioners Rick Perez, CRA, FAHRA, and Mark Steffen hosted a CRA and future CRA lunch at the AHRA Fall Conference. During the 2013 AHRA Annual Meeting, the RACC hosted the CRA booth in the exhibit hall, a CRA reception, and a new CRA focused CE session. In 2014 “New CRA” ribbons will be distributed to Annual Meeting attendees who have passed the CRA exam in the past year.
As a reminder, the RACC has a PowerPoint presentation that can be utilized to provide fellow CRAs with a tool to educate colleagues about the CRA during AHRA local area meetings across the country. CRA logo items (shirts, caps, bags, etc) are also available for purchase online here. For access to additional CRA marketing and educational materials such as CRA Facilities Certificates and information on “Why Hire a CRA,” please go to www.CRAinfo.org.
The CRA exam is offered in electronic format twice a year, during the months of May and November, at testing facilities across the country, and at select international centers, as well. The next available CRA exam will be the spring administration offered May 1 through May 31, 2014, at testing facilities across the United States. The application deadline is March 3, 2014. The AHRA Education Foundation has just announced a new scholarship to cover CRA exam and application fees. To find out more about the scholarship or to submit a scholarship application, please click here.
As we move into the beginning of 2014, I look forward to working with the dedicated and extremely talented RACC commissioners to make 2014 an even more successful year.
Kimlyn N. Queen, CRA, FAHRA, MS is 2013 Chair of the RACC and the director of imaging and cardiac cath services for Marion General Hospital in Marion, OH. She can be contacted at email@example.com.