Johns Hopkins Leaders Share Insights at AHRA

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By John Wallace

The Johns Hopkins Hospital Assistant Radiology Clinical Director Elyce M. Wolfgang shares information about a mentoring program.

Diagnostic imaging professionals from prestigious Johns Hopkins Medicine were among the presenters at AHRA’s 47th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Denver, Colorado. This annual event attracts more than 1,000 medical imaging leaders eager to gain knowledge and network with colleagues.

Elyce M. Wolfgang, MHA, RT(R), Assistant Radiology Clinical Director, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, was among the presenters who shared insights with peers from throughout the United States. Her presentation “Engaging Radiology Supervisors Through a Formal Mentoring Program” provided an outline for others to use as a model.

“In the world of radiology, engagement is crucial to the success of the department. The supervisory level staff are the fulcrum of engagement, as they are pivoting between the front line staff and management level. At The Johns Hopkins Hospital, within two years, 10 supervisor positions experienced turnover, which is one third of the first level leadership team. After conducting extensive research on the topic of mentoring in the workplace, it was found that overall mentoring increases work attitudes, reduces turnover and increases career success,” a description of that class states.

“Additionally, both mentors and mentees experience a wealth of benefits. The mentor benefits include developing junior mentees in order to plan for succession, increasing internal satisfaction, as well as gaining a better understanding of how the decisions they make affect junior staff. Mentee benefits include increasing engagement with their teams, reducing team turnover, gaining exposure to people outside of their own content area, and gaining diverse ideas on how to approach their challenges,” the class description adds. “Therefore, a mentoring program was created and implemented to aid in succession planning, better equip supervisors to handle challenges they encounter, and increase the supervisor’s ability to hone their own skills. By engaging supervisors in a mentoring program, we have seen an overall increase in employee engagement and retention rates.”

Wolfgang’s presentation taught attendees how to understand the importance and benefits of mentoring supervisory level staff, how to implement a mentoring program and how to analyze useful data to determine the program’s success.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Michelle L. Casler (right) and Samantha L. Mueller share benefits of the dashboard they created for their MRI department.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital duo of Michelle L. Casler, M.S. R.T. (R) (MR), MRI Manager, Johns Hopkins Hospital; and Samantha L. Mueller, B.S. R.T. (R) (MR),Chief MRI Technologist, Johns Hopkins Hospital also presented at the AHRA Annual Meeting and Exposition.

Their presentation “Navigating Change Using Data: Our Journey Building a Department Dashboard” delivered powerful examples of how to put data to use.

“Every health care organization has access to data through an electronic health record. Oftentimes, this data is overwhelming, confusing, and difficult to assess. Data can be misleading if not validated and properly interpreted. It is important for data to accurately represent your current workflow, in order to discover opportunities for improvement. The key to accurate and useful data is a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary effort between the informatics team, imaging department and other hospital units. Learning to leverage data will allow you to facilitate effective changes in your imaging department by helping hospital leadership understand the challenges and need for support,” according to a class description.

Casler and Mueller started their journey by building a MRI dashboard – a real-time reporting system that displays the MRI order status and potential barriers to completion. The development included retrieving data from the RIS system, using technologist input and creating new workflows to promote department productivity.

“Through our collaboration on multiple hospital performance and quality projects, we gained further understanding of our processes. Our final step was utilizing the dashboard to implement effective change that impacted the delivery of care to patients through improved efficiency and communication. The process of building a dashboard required engagement at every level of the team and is the key to our sustained success,” according to the class description.

The presentation served as effective tool for teaching attendees how to extract useful and accurate data from the EHR to perform robust workflow analysis. It also illustrated how to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams to accomplish the objectives of multiple performance and quality improvement projects and how to utilize front line staff input to implement effective change and drive accurate data management.

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