Springtime in Paris

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Billie-McKeeBy Billie McKee, MBA, MS, RT(R)(T), CRA

Henry County Medical Center was excited to host around 30 imaging professionals and managers at Tennessee Valley Community Church in Paris, TN on May 14 for our first AHRA Western Tennessee area meeting. The event was generously sponsored by CMS Imaging, and attendees were able to earn four free CE credits.

Attendees were greeted at check in with a lunch bag filled with goodies from HCMC. Each attendee was also registered for fabulous door prizes given away later in the day. To get the day going, the attendees were offered a variety of breakfast items, juices, and coffee provided by CMS Imaging.

I had the pleasure of getting the event underway by presenting a brief overview of AHRA. I provided information about the organization, which has over 5,200 members across the country, and promoted the benefits of becoming an AHRA member, including the new online Basic Management Track, free webinars, and discounted access to the Staff Modeling tool. I talked about becoming a CRA and how valuable AHRA has been for me personally, as a rural imaging director with limited internal resources, to be able to stay on top of this fast moving field of healthcare. Of course, I was very pleased to promote the AHRA 2016 Annual Meeting July 31-August 3 in Nashville and encouraged others to attend this wonderful and informative meeting.

Our opening session was “Extreme Trauma Procedures,” presented by Anthony C. Anderson, RT(R). He gave a detailed look into how surgeons are using new concepts and out of the box thinking to handle different levels of trauma and tumor cases. The presentation included images of actual surgical cases with before and after images. It was very enlightening to see the remarkable ways imaging equipment, such as C-arms, contributes to these successful results.

The second informational session, “Digital Imaging,” was presented by Darren Risinger, RT(R). Darren discussed the omnibus bill that was passed in December 2015 and the effects on reimbursement guidelines by CMS with regards to digital radiography versus computerized radiography and film. He also gave one of the most fascinating presentations on how to use digital imaging to produce exceptional images with lower patient doses than ever before. kVP will no longer be the best way to lighten or darken an image; MmAs is really the key driver to improving quality when it comes to DR. “Quality control’s role in radiology is going to change drastically with DR,” said Darren. Software integration is also important to assess when you begin looking at purchasing new DR systems.

Anthony Anderson then returned to present the last two sessions of the day: “Inside the NFL Radiology” and “Radiology in Afghanistan/Advanced Applications.” He gave attendees an inside look at football injuries and his role as a radiologic technologist for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. Anthony was able to walk us through his “game day” routine for a typical home game and how the NFL actually sets the protocols and dictates what images are to be done. He provided some insight on the “lingo” used in his role; for example, “blown up” means a player lost consciousness and thus he would follow the concussion protocol and take AP, lateral skull, and C-spine. Those players would have to be evaluated further in the training facility after the game.

Anthony’s final session “Radiology in Afghanistan/Advanced Applications” gave attendees a unique look at the role radiology techs played on the battlefield in Iraq and continue to play in Afghanistan. They receive extensive training at Fort Sam Houston, and their primary goal is to train the Afghan soldiers to be radiology techs in some very harsh and stressful conditions. These techs are also soldiers who carry guns and act as corpsman in the field. I have to say this was one of the most interesting presentations I have seen. The speaker received many questions on this topic.

Throughout the day, during breaks and between sessions, we gave out door prizes to our attendees including HCMC Tervis Cups filled with candy, an All Things Paris basket, and numerous gift cards provided by CMS Imaging.

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The door prize winners! Visit AHRA’s Facebook page to see more photos from our event.

I was so pleased with the attendance for our first local area meeting. We hope to make this a semi-annual event and are already looking forward to setting a date in October soon. I would like to thank our attendees and presenters for spending half of their Saturday with us.  Also, special thanks to CMS Imaging for sponsoring the event; Tory Daughrity, Marketing Director at HCMC for helping with online registration; and Jillian Nanof on the AHRA staff for coordinating the event and registration.

I look forward to seeing everyone in my backyard, Nashville, for the Annual Meeting!


Billie McKee, MBA, MS, RT(R)(T), CRA is the director of imaging and customer relations at Henry County Medical Center in Paris, TN. She can be reached at bmckee@hcmc-tn.org.

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