By Kim Evans, MS, FABC, CRA
In today’s value era of health care, we often find ourselves facing the topic of quality. What quality does your service provide? For leaders in imaging this is not a new question. How are we increasing value? And how do we quantify or validate that value? We must work and be prepared to answer just that for many questions that are posed in operational and strategic analyses. We can learn from this exercise to also identify opportunities to enhance our leadership abilities and contributions to our organizations and our profession.
As technologists, when we grow and advance we can prepare, gain experience and prove our knowledge with advanced certification and registration; but what about those challenging administrative skills and abilities needed in order to successfully cross into a leadership role? How can we gain knowledge and experience and ultimately prove competency in financial management, operations, human resources, asset management or communications and information management? These primary knowledge pillars encompass much of an imaging leader’s responsibility. Where do we find the benchmarks, best practices and gold standards? How do future leaders become competent and grow in these domains and how is this developed and demonstrated?
Often educational coursework coupled with clinical experience provide the base knowledge, but how do we assess how far we come or how much we’ve learned? Great news! Advanced certification is available for today’s radiology administrator and the future radiology administrator too! You can become a Certified Radiology Administrator® (CRA)! A CRA possesses a breadth of proven knowledge across many critical areas of radiology administration along with an understanding of how to apply these skills.
The Radiology Administration Certification Commission (RACC) provides very clear guidelines for establishing eligibility and makes available resource materials that not only help in preparation, but also are incredible references for day to day work as an administrator. For example, the textbook series helped me identify areas where I was less than confident and helped me grow in these areas. Isn’t that what learning is all about? While exam preparation certainly takes commitment and effort, the validation of leadership skills and competencies through advanced certification cannot be underestimated. For me, the CRA is a very self-fulfilling and gratifying accomplishment. It has provided a confirmation of my knowledge and I believe a quality and valued benchmark for my organization as a gold standard of excellence. I know what knowledge is expected of an imaging leader and now have a “quality stamp” on that knowledge and ability.
As a RACC Commissioner and an imaging leader, I encourage you to consider the quality investment in yourself and your organization as you map your own value path as a Certified Radiology Administrator. And while at it, why not mentor someone and bring along a future CRA!
Kim Evans, MS, FABC, CRA is the Vice President of Imaging at Christiana Care Imaging Services, Newark, DE. She can be reached at email@example.com