By Troy C. Fuhrman, MHA, BS, RT(R)(MR)
I was accepted into the 2017 AHRA Partners in Learning program and was matched with my host, Billie McKee, CRA, MS, RT(R)(T), Director of Imaging at Henry County Medical Center (HCMC). I was fortunate to be able to meet Billie at the AHRA Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA before traveling to her facility in Paris, TN in August for my visit. During our introductory meeting in Anaheim, I was able to provide her my thoughts on what I hoped to gain from a facility that had earned the ACR’s Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence (DICOE) certification, as well as provide her information on my facility’s core values and performance improvement goals so she could have a sense of my organization. I was very excited to visit her facility after seeing her optimistic and enthusiastic attitude toward this mentoring program.
Coming from a 196 bed facility in Northwest New Mexico to a 136 bed hospital in central Tennessee, I expected to see various dissimilarities in culture, staff, and management style, but was pleasantly surprised to see that many of the same barriers – whether it be staffing, difficult physicians, not seeing eye-to-eye with senior management, or just having the same difficulty getting your PC fixed by IT within the next month – are the same in any organization.
After the initial tour of the hospital and radiology department, I was ready to start bombarding Billie with questions, see some of her department processes, and find out what we had in common as a radiology department. To start, it was great to see that HCMC conducts a daily safety huddle with all department leadership first thing in the morning, and then see Billie do rounds through the individual radiology divisions, who have their own mini safety huddles. It was evident that her staff were all very engaged and felt comfortable discussing any barriers or victories they were experiencing in their respective areas.
During our one-on-one sit down time, we were able to converse about some obstacles that each of us are currently experiencing in our positions. One of the discussion points I brought up involved the dress code policy that my facility is currently reviewing. With multiple generations working together, this has been a hot topic at many facilities, and I was pleased that Billie was willing to share her policy on this topic and her ideas for working with staff. My second discussion point involved cell phone usage and social media (which she also shared her facility policy for). With photos and information being shared on such a wide communication platform, hospitals are on the constant lookout for possible HIPAA breaches in our armor and are having to terminate employees for misuse.1
On my next day of shadowing I had the pleasure of attending an all-women’s luncheon that Billie had agreed to speak at when asked by local leadership at the last minute. Needless to say I stood out a little bit being the only male in the room, but I was greeted by the Southern charm that everyone speaks of and very much appreciated the great lunch. It was a pleasure seeing how proud Billie was speaking to this ladies group about all of the new updates her department has accomplished and awards they’d received along with the high level care the hospital strives to provide the community of Paris, TN.
In conclusion I would like to thank the AHRA Partners in Learning program, GE Healthcare, and Ms. Billie McKee for providing me a once in a career experience to shadow a wonderful leader in the radiology field and acquire some great takeaways that I will definitely explore on my return home.
1. Rege A. UPMC fires several employees after they ogled, photographed anesthetized patient with genital injury. Becker’s Hospital Review. http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-physician-relationships/upmc-fires-several-employees-after-they-ogled-photographed-anesthetized-patient-with-genital-injury.html. Published September 14, 2017. Accessed October 3, 2017.
Troy C. Fuhrman MHA, BSRT (R)(MR) is the assistant radiology manager at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, NM. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.