Learning, Preparing, and Making Connections

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Amy-HollisBy Amy M. Hollis, RT(R)(M), BSEd

This March I was fortunate to be able to attend the 2016 AHRA Spring Conference, including the CRA Exam Workshop, as a recipient of the Osborn Scholarship. With today’s financial reality, even a conference three hours from home is cost-prohibitive. I simply would not have been able to attend without the scholarship. This was my first AHRA conference, and I was impressed from the beginning. It was well-run, and I found the session content to be practical.

I am an imaging coach at Monroe Clinic, which is a multi-specialty physician practice with eleven clinics in two states. We have a new 58 bed hospital (the only one in the county) and provide round the clock X-Ray, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine and ultrasound services. We are in a 5-year building project at our main campus and are building a memory care facility in Illinois as well as a hospice facility in Wisconsin.

At the start of the conference I had three goals in mind: learn, prepare for the CRA exam, and make connections with other leaders. Mission accomplished! I gained insight on leading indicators and how to optimize my dashboards; differentiating business analytics from business intelligence; making the motions matter so we don’t just go through them; creating a workplace where employees feel empowered; and the good, bad, and ugly of regulation and reimbursement. From a CRA standpoint I learned that I know a lot and that I don’t know just as much, but that I have the resources available to be successful in sitting for the exam. I connected with colleagues from one county over in Wisconsin to Chicago, Denver, and New York City.

At the conference Sandra Geroux spoke about how strong leaders create respectful, rewarding, and fun workplaces, and I couldn’t agree more. Monroe Clinic uses Catalytic Coaching to separate pay from performance (this is where my imaging coach title came from). I am there to do all of the operational tasks a manager is responsible for (you all know them well) but I am also, and equally, there for my employees as individual people and as team members. I can honestly tell you that I know all of my employees by name (first and last), who makes up their families, and what each of their professional goals are. I can tell when someone is overwhelmed and when someone needs a challenge. I am able to guide and lead them in real time. This is possible through the strong foundation of culture, policy, and practice I have to stand on. It is just how we do it here. As Ms. Geroux said, we keep it simple.

Bill Johnson gave us insight into foundations for patient experience excellence. He told us this needs to be a culture because strategy alone won’t cut it. You have to have everyone on board or it simply won’t work. Our hospital was designed with a front of house/back of house concept so patients and visitors see the calming, professional presentation of a care facility. They don’t see the scurrying, hectic work, and moving of equipment that is conducted in the back of house. Our cafeteria is on the top floor so guests can look out at our country landscape or eat on the terrace (unless it’s winter because, well it is Wisconsin). Our employees work in teams to improve patient experience. We follow our service standard;. they aren’t just words on a piece of paper handed out at orientation. Employees are recognized for meeting them and immediately held accountable when they don’t. As Mr. Johnson said, “what you permit you promote.”

Jason Theadore and Christopher Masone’s presentation on the transformation of imaging provided real-world strategies to meet the changing demands of healthcare consumers. They discussed placing providers in workplaces so employers can provide their employees with immediate access to care, which we began at Colony Brands in 2013. They mentioned placing clinics in retail settings, something we have been doing for years through a partnership with Shopko. These patients are seen for minor injuries and illnesses, at a set cost, without having to make a clinic appointment or visit an ER. It can be done, and what I took from this presentation is that you have to be resourceful and listen to what your consumers want.

After a full, rewarding, and valuable experience, I was able to meet colleagues and gain practical knowledge to share with my team. I would like to thank the AHRA Education Foundation for awarding me the 2016 Spring Osborn Scholarship.

Amy M. Hollis, RT(R)(M), BSEd is the imaging coach (MRI, Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound) at Monroe Clinic in Monroe, WI. She can be reached at: amy.hollis@monroeclinic.org.

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