By Gerard (Jerry) A. Mullen, MSA, CRA, RT(R)
The Annual Meeting has been a wealth of knowledge for me over my 25+ years as an administrator. The topics presented are timely in today’s chaotic, ever-changing healthcare environment. Many of the sessions I have attended have been instrumental to my situation at the time and gave me insight regarding what to look for or what I needed to learn more about to keep my operation, staff, and hospital current with the imaging market. Over the years the meeting has evolved along with us as we moved from “technical” administrators to “business” men and women with technical backgrounds – CEOs of imaging if you will. The session topics shifted as well to a balance of the technical knowledge that we need to keep current and business knowledge to help us understand budgeting and ROI modeling to justify RIS/PACS, PET/CT, etc.
We now are moving full speed ahead in the Lean Six Sigma era which will coalesce our many skills into a philosophy that we can embrace and standardize not only in our workplace, but across the nation by comparing benchmarks.
The interaction with the vendors is a great way to see the latest and greatest technology in one venue, like a more relaxed version of RSNA. It‘s an educational experience with as much emphasis on relationship building as on selling.
The best part of the Annual Meeting is the many opportunities for networking with peers. It has always been refreshing for me to attend the meeting and interact with men and women who are doing the same work I do and who share the same challenges and frustrations I experience. Everyone is willing to share their experiences, good or bad, to help a peer avoid stepping on a landmine or recreating the wheel.
It is always a busy week, but when I return to work the week after, I have more energy and am reinvigorated about my role and importance to the success of my department to patient care, my staff, and the hospital. All department directors should be attending and supporting the AHRA; it will pay back huge dividends. I look forward to seeing you all in Vegas next week!
Gerard A. Mullen, MSA, CRA, RT(R) is the director of implementations at Alliance Radiology in Glasssboro, NJ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.