By Enrico M. Perez, CRA, FAHRA
Happy New Year everyone, and let me wish you and your families my sincere wishes for health and happiness. We face many challenges in the year ahead, but this is not new. If we look back at the years that have gone by, we realize that as each year passes it always involves change. With new technology, regulations, and personnel issues, our task is to figure out how best to keep up and advance during these times of change. We are at a very challenging time in our industry, but like those who came before us, we strive to make a difference in life, no matter what background has lead us to our careers as imaging administrators.
One of the great things about our profession is that we know we will always be needed, since as human beings we are vulnerable to diseases and accidents and will always need care. In the future we will be focusing more on wellness and early detection instead of fighting disease in retrospect. We are also living longer, and the ability to repair and exchange parts is amazing technology which requires planning based off of imaging studies and image reconstruction. This is our world. The imaging administrator is an integral part of this advancement and development since we are the professionals putting together the abstract and the business plans and then managing the projects to incorporate this technology into our departments and facilities. We are practicing in an amazing time that requires each of us to understand and apply different skills from both the business side and the technology side, which not everyone can do.
If you think back to just the past 40 years, the changes and growth in technology have been exponential, and so has the need for experienced professionals who have realized the need for continuing education and certification within the specialty of our chosen field, imaging. This is what the CRA credential has provided for us.
Working on the CRA credential as part of the RACC has been an amazing process, and hopefully the amount of growth we have seen in the number of CRAs will continue. I would like to see professional organizations like The Joint Commission and ACR incorporate the CRA credential into their criteria for quality departments. We are certified professionals that understand and have the knowledge of the imaging industry, have studied many management areas such as finance and human resources, and keep up with the ever changing landscape of regulations. The CRA is the one credential that certifies this scope of practice and expertise.
If you feel strongly about your profession and having recognition for what you have achieved, we need to continue to raise the bar and work to have CRA-Preferred listed in all job descriptions for those running imaging departments. As the leaders of our profession, we are responsible for making this happen so that someday every imaging facility large or small will be managed by a leader who is recognized for his or her advanced understanding of the many skills that signify excellence in imaging administration by holding the CRA credential.
May your year ahead be successful, healthy, and bring you much happiness.
Enrico M. Perez, CRA, FAHRA is the director of radiology at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY. He is also the 2014 Chair of the RACC. He can be reached at email@example.com.