AHRA 2012 Preview – The Countdown is On

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Luann Culbreth

Luann Culbreth, M Ed, MBA, RT(R)(MR)(QM), CRA, FSMRT, FAHRA

Editor’s Note:  The Association for Medical Imaging Management opens it’s annual meeting on Sunday in Orlando, FL.  You can find Carestream in booth 609. Luann Culbreth, M Ed, MBA, RT(R)(MR)(QM), CRA, FSMRT, FAHRA, president of the 2011-2012 AHRA Board of Directors, offers a preview of the meeting in the guest blog below. Luann is also executive director of cardiology, medical imaging, radiation oncology at Saint Thomas Health in Nashville, TN. Luann can be reached at Luann.Culbreth@stthomas.org.

This year’s AHRA Annual Meeting will, of course, be an intensely educational one for the radiology administrators who attend as our roles shift in light of healthcare reform and economic conditions. We’re required to get creative and back to basics by doing more with less. Yet, we’re still heavily focused on the patient and providing the best care possible.

AHRA 2012Our biggest opportunity as administrators is to be leaders of this transformation. We need to use our gifts of creativity and innovation to develop new healthcare delivery models. We need to be a part of the solution, utilizing cutting edge technology while realizing healthcare will not only be delivered in our hospitals but in our communities. With 32 million people having access to healthcare coverage, we need to model and encourage all healthcare professionals to practice at the top of their licenses and provide care that truly leaves no one behind. We need to understand how to meet the needs of the community at large, with focus on population health and population health management as our future.

In light of this, trends that are driving the meeting curriculum are healthcare reform and regulatory issues. The biggest thing addressed in the breakout sessions will be pay for performance – identifying and addressing radiology management concerns that affect quality, measurable outcomes, and reporting structure. Several of our breakout sessions are specific to charge capture, accurate coding and billing, and identifying opportunities to better position departments to avoid triggering audits.

AHRA DatalynxWe will also be educating attendees on AHRA’s new benchmarking tool, AHRAdatalynx. It is populated with data from a set of comprehensive surveys filled out by AHRA members. The ultimate goal is to have detailed operational metrics that will ultimately help drive better imaging operations. There will be an on site demo station for meeting attendees to see the tool in action, as well as an educational session on Monday August 13 at 4:00 PM.

And, of course, attendees always love the Wednesday night theme party (this year: Havana Nights!) and keynote speakers. There’s also going to be a special guest appearance by the young star of Broadway’s Billy Elliott (who just so happens to be an AHRA past president’s son!).

Attending an AHRA conference is like looking in the mirror… you see yourself everywhere. Look around and you find yourself surrounded by those who have the same professional experiences and needs you do. We all have the same requisite for education on the latest accreditation and government requirements, HR matters, safety issues, customer service ideas, etc. AHRA members are my content experts, they are who I turn to for ideas, know hows, and best practices.



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