By Sandra M. Edson, MBA
Last April, I joined a new organization and I was excited about the opportunity to work with a new team. The imaging leaders were encouraged to become involved in AHRA, taking advantage of the educational resources and the AHRA Forum. As I prepared to attend the 2015 Annual Meeting, I wrote a brief article in Link and shared the sessions I looked forward to attending. During the conference, I shared my experience of these sessions in Convention Daily. Today, I’ll share the knowledge and benefits this meeting had for a first time attendee, Pat Shaw, one of our imaging managers.
When Pat learned I’d be attending the meeting, she requested to join me. Of course, I was excited to have the opportunity to introduce her to AHRA members, attend sessions with her, and network with her throughout the conference. Pat did not hesitate to get involved. In fact, by day one, networking with other leaders was well underway. She quickly made new friends and in the days following, we spent little time together. Pat attended the Basic Track to help build skills related to her management role and found these two sessions to be of most value: The Employee Continuum and Budgeting for Business, as well as the Leadership and Mentoring pre-conference workshop. These sessions validated the important work Pat and other leaders in our organization perform on a daily basis, including our number one strategic goal: employee and physician engagement, followed by quality, patient experience, and stewardship.
The information Pat acquired through attending the Annual Meeting encouraged her to finalize plans and implement an Imaging Governance Council, which is an employee driven committee. These individuals are focused on improving opportunities that directly impact staff. The council members represent employees from all disciplines and are accountable for soliciting feedback from their peers, prioritizing opportunities, participating in sub-committees, and are the direct link to our leadership team. Of course, their involvement will not replace our leadership responsibilities of rounding, conducting huddles, and building teamwork.
In addition to this council, imaging staff have become involved in our Quality & Work Life Committee, Culture Design Committee, Education Council, and Self-Care for Healthcare. We are encouraged to have staff engaged in the decisions that influence their daily work. Employee engagement will enhance communication within our scope of responsibility, which includes over 140 employees, two hospitals, a comprehensive women’s wellness center, an outpatient CT site, radiation oncology, and centralized scheduling.
As a leader, one of the most rewarding aspects of my work includes mentoring and growth opportunities. I also appreciate learning from my staff through their experiences, suggestions, and other inspirational stories. I’m pleased that our team has embarked on this journey. I know we are on track as I walk through the department and see so many smiles and staff appreciate being involved. I’m also encouraged by the support provided by our senior executive team.
Three months following AHRA, Pat acknowledges that the meeting and networking helped place things into perspective, that it was meaningful to hear how other organizations succeeded in meeting their goals by using similar workgroups, and that she has been challenged in new ways. We both look forward to the continued learning through these shared experiences.
Sandra M. Edson, MBA is the director, imaging and women’s wellness center at St. Joseph-Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, CA. She can be reached at email@example.com.