By Chris Snyder, CRA
As one of the new commissioners on the Radiology Administration Certification Commission (RACC), I want to thank all CRAs for allowing me the opportunity to represent them as we strive to bring value and national recognition to the CRA credential. As healthcare continues to face many challenges, it is imperative that healthcare executives understand and recognize the value of having a CRA leading their imaging service lines. As one of your commissioners, I am committed to leading this fight.
After AHRA’s Annual Meeting in Las Vegas last month, I flew back to Virginia with many emotions and thoughts. I remember early in my career seeing a poster in my director’s office that read, “The only thing constant in healthcare is CHANGE.” This is more applicable today than in the last 20 years. I was very impressed with the comprehensive educational offerings at this year’s meeting. All AHRA members should feel proud that our professional organization has the foresight to bring educational conferences that are not only applicable for success today, but also provide proactive information that will prepare you for future changes and challenges.
As I sat back and took in all of the information that was offered during the four days, one thought could not escape me: the days of imaging administrators only being concerned with the four walls of a radiology department are long gone. ICD-10, lung screening programs, Meaningful Use, clinical decision support, Medicare denials, joint ventures, alternative payment models, and strategic planning are all healthcare initiatives that reach far outside the imaging department, but imaging leadership will be at the table as organizations prepare for these changes. Our influence is no longer isolated to the imaging department; our decisions have an impact on an entire healthcare system or organization. Our role over the last 20 years has quickly shifted from imaging administrators to, quite frankly, healthcare administrators.
As healthcare and technology have changed, so have the responsibilities and expectations of the imaging leader. PACS required us to be more involved with informatics; Federal laws required us to be more versed in human resource management; payment cuts, bundling charges, and DRGs forced us to practice fiscal and operations management. The CRA credential validates our knowledge in these critical healthcare domains: human resource management, asset resource management, fiscal management, operations management, and communication and information management. These are all areas that any CEO or CFO should consider essential for a position in leadership.
Most of you are beginning the 2016 budget process, and I ask all of you to do two things. First, budget some travel dollars for the 2016 AHRA Annual Meeting. The information and networking will not only benefit you professionally, but also your organization. Secondly, schedule a meeting with your human resources executive and make the CRA a requirement for imaging leadership positions. Take pride in what the CRA represents, and educate your organization’s C-suite on the many benefits that requiring a CRA brings. If you are not a current CRA, raise the bar, and achieve this goal!
The only thing constant in healthcare is change; shouldn’t our job requirements change with the times?
Chris Snyder, CRA is the director, technical services at Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania Ave in Fredericksburg, VA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.