THE HERO EFFECT – No Strings Attached

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AHRA 2018 keynote speaker shares insights on creating a culture of heroes in medical imaging.

When asked “what is a hero?”, many people respond that it is an ordinary person who did an extraordinary thing. Kevin Brown, keynote speaker at the AHRA2018 conference, thinks we should flip that tired, rote definition. He believes instead that heroes are extraordinary people who choose not to be ordinary – and that every one of us has the power to be a hero.

Photo of Kevin Brown, AHRA keynote speaker.
Kevin Brown was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony at AHRA 2018 in Orlando Florida.

Brown explained that all heroes have something in common: they help people. Given that, it would seem that everyone at the conference should be tying on their superhero capes. After all, many hospitals and imaging sites talk about “putting patients first” or state that, “no one is more important than the patient.”

But is your imaging facility delivering on that philosophy? Do your patients feel like they are the only person in the room when checking in with the receptionist? Do they feel like they have 100 percent of the rad tech’s attention while undergoing an exam? Are the interactions during this visit positive enough to make the patient choose your facility – over all the other providers – the next time they need an exam? If not, you’ve lost a competitive edge. Now you can only compete on price.

Creating a culture of heroes in medical imaging

Brown encouraged everyone to tap into your own super powers to influence and shape the way that staff throughout your organization treat patients. How? By first creating an exceptional experience for the people inside your organization. Treat your staff and co-workers with kindness and respect, and they in turn will treat your patients that way.

Healthcare leaders should recognize that employees need more than just the equipment to do their job or a paycheck at the end of the week. They also need support and validation. A real superhero understands – and delivers – the reinforcement and support that people want. Similarly, patients need more than imaging exams. They need reassurance, a bright smile, undivided attention.

Brown illustrated the power of the personal experience by sharing humorous stories about his attachment to his hairdresser and favorite fast food restaurant that have earned his loyalty by making him feel special. And he tugged at heartstrings with a personal story about how the caring attitude and personal attention of a chef at Disney World led to a lasting and caring relationship with his son who has autism.

Being a hero part two: no strings attached

Even superheroes have busy schedules and shortages of resources. How can a medical administrator be all powerful when paperwork and meetings are sapping your energy like a load of kryptonite? Brown says it is accomplished by being in the moment; by showing up fully and attentively. Focus on “the now” and the person standing in front of you, and not on “what’s next”. Most importantly, offer help without expecting anything in return – no strings attached.

To illustrate the point, Brown encouraged attendees to think about all the people who made a positive difference in their lives even when the interactions were short lived. Then he asked attendees to consider whether and how many people would think of them if asked the same question.

Radiology administrators don’t wear capes and they would be foolish to leap a tall building. But we all have the power to embrace a simply philosophy: be kind for no reason, and help others without expecting anything in return. In doing so, you are likely to build a more compassionate workforce that truly does put the patient first, and sets your organization apart from the competitors.

What “super powers” do you bring to work each day to build a culture of caring and compassion?

#heroeffect #AHRA2018 #AHRA

Katie Kilfoyle Remis is the editor of Everything Rad and Carestream Health’s social media strategist.

Kevin Brown is author of the book THE HERO EFFECT: Being Your Best When It Matters The Most.


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