Elevating Leadership- How my CRA helped prepare me for crisis  

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By Kim Evans, MS, FABC, CRA

In these unprecedented times, we as Imaging leaders have never been more challenged to rise up and demonstrate leadership qualities and attributes as much as we have been during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been empowered to remove distraction and dig in to accomplish; a massive task in a very short period of time. We have exercised flexibility and adaptability. We have stopped discretionary work and focused on the safety of our patients and caregivers as priority. We have become more decisive and have made difficult decisions and stood by those decisions. And even now, as we have seemingly come through much of the eye of the storm, we are called upon to create and execute recovery planning while implementing all necessary safety measures for our patients and caregivers. Each of these steps requires knowledge, understanding, vision, and an ability to operationalize.

These attributes define the CRA – the Certified Radiology Administrator. Yes! This is our world. These are key benefits and drivers of the primary domain categories for the CRA. As I have reflected on the past few months, I have stood in awe of my senior leadership team who exemplified for me elevated leadership and motivated me to grow and personally become a better leader for the Imaging team. As a CRA, I have drawn on the toolkit of knowledge in each of the primary domains during the pandemic and coupled that with education and experience. I am grateful for the deep dive opportunity into the CRA content areas where I gained valuable and useful foundational information that helped me to navigate the changing times and successfully lead my team. For those considering becoming a CRA I can assure you, the effort is absolutely worth it.

What has helped me as a CRA lead through the pandemic in Imaging? I share with you below my personal experience.

In Asset Management we needed to restrict the use of equipment and implement new cleaning measures to keep everyone safe while continuing to provide the highest quality care. We needed to downsize and temporarily close community locations. And of course, beyond the implications of managing our existing fleet of equipment, there are now and will be significant capital budget implications moving forward.

In Human Resource Management we experienced staff deployment and furlough and new remote work needs. Child and elder care were very real issues that we as leaders needed to address. We added measures to provide for staff safety including daily PPE, social distancing and staff screenings at entrances. We focused on the wellness of our team and how to effectively and successfully return folks to work.

In Fiscal Management we realize the massive financial impact created by the pandemic that will require long term recovery. We are managing daily how to recover safely and rebuild volumes and revenues while meeting the needs of our community. To monitor this performance, we are assessing many KPIs daily. We are challenging everyone to re-imagine work and identify ways to work differently as we move forward.

In Operations Management the delicate balance of providing services and keeping people safe was daunting. There were needs to prioritize time sensitive and medically necessary work and identify what was non-urgent/elective. Creative results included radiologist engagement in the scheduling process, staggering appointment slots, providing for social distancing in workspace and waiting rooms, and remote check in for appointments.

In Communications and Information Management we recognized that we must be constantly sharing daily communication bidirectionally and did so by ramping up structured daily shift huddles. We raised up virtual work and remote readings. We were provided a dedicated dashboard, which included real time PPE guidelines and all infection prevention related policies, in one new location that was accessible by every caregiver.

While the list above is not inclusive, it provides a window into the role of a Radiology Administrator. The foundation of information gained through education, experience, and the pursuit of knowledge in the domain areas was incredibly helpful through this journey. My decision to pursue the CRA began with the commitment to learn and gain valuable experience and little did I know how much that decision would prepare me. The benefits of being a CRA include the recognition of skills and capabilities, strong and relevant imaging management experience, validation of proven business acumen, and the recognition of high standard of achievement. Each of those benefits were greatly needed and appreciated over the past few months. All of this is part of the journey that began with the commitment to elevate my leadership. I encourage you to do the same and consider becoming a CRA. It will serve you well.

Kim Evans, MS, FABC, CRA is the Vice President of Imaging at Christiana Care Imaging Services, Newark, DE. She can be reached at kevans@christianacare.org

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