A Saturday Morning Well Spent

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Ryan-TiptonBy Ryan Tipton, RT(R)(CT), CRA

Saturday, April 9 was a chilly, but beautiful morning in Knoxville, TN. Approximately 30 imaging professionals gathered at Parkwest Medical Center for the East Tennessee AHRA Area Meeting. Generous amounts of coffee and a continental style breakfast were immediately consumed upon arrival by the grateful attendees. We began our Saturday with an opportunity to network with other imaging professionals, generously sponsored by CMS Imaging, Inc.

The first speaker of the day was Anthony Anderson. Anthony’s opening topic was extreme trauma procedures. When most people think of trauma imaging, visions of car wrecks, gun shots, and other terrible events come to mind. Anthony taught the group that there is another definition of trauma: severe deformations that occur from neoplastic processes. The group was shown many case studies of cutting edge procedures, reconstructions, and research that Anthony has been privileged to assist with. I feel certain that all of the attendees came away with a great appreciation of the work being done at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic and other research facilities across the United States.

After the first session, Jeffrey Palmucci, CRA, FAHRA, spoke to the group on behalf of AHRA. Jeffrey gave a brief history of AHRA and its expansion over the last several years. He told the group about the benefits of membership, including CEs available on the Online Institute, access to AHRA’s publications, and the member forum (which is about to get a big upgrade). He also spoke about the CRA certification, and encouraged all of us to pursue the credential. I know personally that achieving the CRA credential has helped demonstrate my commitment to the profession of imaging management.

The next session was presented by Brian Collins of CMS Imaging. Brian brought the group up-to-speed on recent federal legislation that will penalize imaging departments and centers that are using conventional film and computed radiography (CR) imaging. The group was shown the potential impacts of the cuts from a reimbursement standpoint. Brian then explained the rationale behind the legislation and the potential benefits a conversion to digital radiography (DR) could have for our patients, staff, and financial reports. Lastly, we were given a market update on the offerings and pathways available to imaging managers seeking compliance with the new requirements.

Anthony Anderson then gave his second presentation of the day. Anthony has had the privilege of being the team radiographer for the Seattle Seahawks for many years. His unique perspective of game day operations and the benefits/challenges of being an x-ray tech for a professional sports team was enlightening. As we all know, NFL players are not normal sized humans, and this alone presents a huge (no pun intended) challenge to obtaining great images. Anthony explained that these jobs are not something you apply for, as it’s all about being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people. It was fortunate that he let us know this; otherwise I might still be looking for that job listing!

Anthony then finished the day off with a presentation on imaging in the OR and vascular imaging. Any of us who have spent time working in the OR know that it is a different world, and Anthony gave professional advice on integrating imaging into that world. We were also given an update on new and emerging technologies that are being seen in the OR and in vascular labs.

Our spring meeting was time well spent, and all of the participants had nothing but positive feedback. I would like to give a big THANK YOU to CMS Imaging for their sponsorship, time, and collaboration, which made the day a huge success. We are all looking forward to hosting another event in the fall –  on a Big Orange off weekend of course! But before that, we hope many of you will join us in our home state for this year’s Annual Meeting, July 30-August 3.

Our sign directing guests to the meeting. Click to see more photos on AHRA's Facebook page.Our sign directing guests to the meeting. Click to see more photos on AHRA’s Facebook page.

Ryan Tipton, RT(R)(CT), CRA is the manager of radiology at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, TN. He can be reached at rtipton@covhlth.com.


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