July 2015

Editor's Note: An AHRA State of Mind
By Jim Knaub
Radiology Today
Vol. 16 No. 7 P. 3

While reading through the AHRA annual meeting program online, I ask myself which sessions will be the most heavily attended and eagerly followed by the managers, administrators, and directors in attendance. My hope is to get a sense of what's really on the professional minds of those attendees. (Outside of that, what happens in Vegas should just stay there, as they say.) So I'm likely to ask if I see you in and around the Venetian how you see the ongoing change brought by accountable care and the rest of health care reform changing hospital radiology department administration. I'm particularly interested in the bigger-picture items that may mean huge adjustments to your department or organization—not the vitally important routine day-to-day reimbursement, staffing, compliance, and safety issues that require seemingly constant attention and fine adjustment. This feels like a period of real directional shift; consider the following:

• imaging's shift from a profit center to a cost center,

• radiology departments' role in enterprise imaging,

• changing relationships with radiology groups that serve your hospital,

• imaging's place in accountable care,

• increased consumerization of health care and your department's role in customer service,

• population health and imaging,

• what clinical decision support's coming expansion means to hospital radiology departments,

• managing and measuring dose optimization,

• joint ventures and possible new alliances, and

• staying sane while keeping after the other nine things on this list.

It didn't take long to put this list together—again skipping the nuts-and-bolts issues of moving patients through a busy imaging department each day. It feels like a time of great change, but history suggests that some changes that we expect won't manifest, and some that we do not expect will suddenly force themselves upon us.

But is my sense of this close to what's happening? The effort to answer that question is one of the key reasons I attend meetings like AHRA. It will be fun to take in a show, see colleagues, and drop a few bucks in the casino, but the reason for the trip is to learn from you about what you're facing, so Radiology Today can do the legwork to provide you with more useful information in the coming months. Give it some thought now, so if I pester you a little in Las Vegas you'll have good answers.
Better yet, stop by booth 320 during exhibit hall hours and share your ideas. You can also reach out through social media using #AHRA2015.

Enjoy the issue.