By Brenda DeBastiani, CRA, FAHRA
When I saw the request for hosts for AHRA’s Partners in Learning program last month, I immediately filled out the application and submitted it without hesitation. Why, do you ask? I feel that it is the least that I can do! I have learned so much from my AHRA peers that I want to give back whenever and however I can. I work in a great facility with great employees who want to deliver the best healthcare possible. Hosting another member for Partners in Learning helps me build my networking skills both externally and internally, since I get the opportunity to meet new people, plus build stronger relationships with my own coworkers. Hosting is truly a win-win! Do you have to have all of the answers to be a host site? Of course not! Part of the learning experience is seeing how other people handle difficult situations.
The way I see it, allowing someone in my facility to ask questions can only make me a stronger director. I get the opportunity to share my knowledge, or if required, I “phone a friend” to answer tough questions about topics that I do not control or oversee. For example, I am not directly responsible for Meaningful Use, but I do know the gurus in my facility that can provide all of the answers to those questions. I am not directly responsible for insurance collections, but I can connect my guest with the right people in the business office. I am not directly responsible for value based purchasing, but I have developed good working relationships with the engineers in the quality department who do the data mining and are happy to share their knowledge. I also learn a great deal during this entire sharing process.
Everyone wins when participating in Partners in Learning. I believe that AHRA does a great job matching applicants with host sites. Hosting Tom Wells from Newton, KS this past October was a great experience. Prior to the visit, Tom provided a list of topics that he wanted to learn more about while at my facility. I set up meetings to include the right people to provide answers to his questions when the topic was outside of my pavilion. He was able to share some of his practices and experiences with me that made me stronger, as well. It is not easy to meet people who understand exactly what you go through on a daily basis, so talking to a fellow director with common goals and struggles is very beneficial. Since our facilities were so similar, the conversations were meaningful and worthwhile.
Being a host site is very enriching and rewarding. I do not often have the opportunity to share my experiences, both positive and negative, with someone who truly understands. Being a host site gives the opportunity to develop life-long friendships as well as share knowledge with people who wants to learn from you. Why don’t you give it a try?
Brenda DeBastiani, CRA, FAHRA is the director of imaging at Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown, WV. She can be reached at DebastianiB@monhealthsys.org.