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Why would anyone want to work here?

Sponsored by Banner Health

By Beth Allen

Banner Imaging began when Banner Health acquired two successful previously radiologist-owned companies to establish a presence in the outpatient radiology arena. This would increase convenience and decrease cost for Banner Health patients. Together with three Banner hospital outpatient departments, we were commissioned to bring together best practices to provide an efficient, productive and successful outpatient medical imaging model to build upon.

Before our company was even “born,” the senior leadership team met to identify which key performance indicators we would use to determine our success. One of these key indicators was to be in the top decile of employee engagement. We made a commitment to be the place people chose to work right from the onset.

We did not want to lose sight of employee engagement as we sorted through all the complicated dynamics of bringing our systems together. There were a multitude of stress-generating tasks that need to be completed in order to become one system; RIS, PACS, policies and procedures, workflow, a new telephone platform, patient experience expectations and integration into the system – just to name a few. Change management was on everybody’s daily to-do list.

In order to balance this, we formed an Employee Engagement Task Force, made up of team members from across Banner Imaging from all departments and levels of staff. We asked ourselves why people would want to work here. We identified opportunities beyond the necessities that would make Banner Imaging attractive to talented individuals looking for more than a place to collect a paycheck.

Of course, the obvious way to be able to recruit the caliber of team members we are seeking is to offer a competitive compensation and benefits package. Banner Health has an entire department that has already taken care of that for us. We wanted to go beyond that and offer more intangible benefits that create a loyal and engaged team, committed to our shared goals and principles.

Opportunity for career development is an example of what we wanted to offer. When possible, we offer cross training positions for CT, DXA, mammography and MRI. If a technologist has done preliminary work to be prepared for one of these positions, they are eligible to apply when those positions become available. Candidates are chosen based on the how they will fit into the current team in that modality as well as their performance in their current role. Once training is completed, the candidate will successfully pass the ARRT registry in this modality.

Leadership positions follow the same game plan. As we are rapidly growing beyond our current 24 locations, there will be many opportunities for those looking to expand their responsibilities into a leadership role. Again, we ask for preliminary groundwork to be done to be prepared when the opportunity comes up. We do succession planning to identify those individuals that are ready for more responsibility and assign tasks that will help to grow their leadership skills. There are education resources such as college classes, the ASRT, ARRT, AHRA among others that can enable future leaders to be prepared.

We also offer challenges to grow to our ancillary and support staff. Historically, we have team members who have started at our front desk or as a medical imaging assistant who have gone on to become radiographers. We also have leadership positions within our patient access team. Every position and every team member are critical to our success. To offer opportunity to grow is a win for everyone.

Most of us who have chosen a career in health care have done so because we want to help people. When you get down to the basics that is what it is about. We wanted to create a culture that expects that we will do what is best for the patient. This gets more and more difficult to decipher through rules, regulations, a litigious environment and efficiency expectations. Taking care of people is where we get our career satisfaction. It is important that we don’t lose sight of what makes health care rewarding and enjoyable. Going above and beyond for our patients is the expectation and a daily occurrence for our staff. Because of that we, as leaders, need to not only recognize our staff, but to appreciate them as well. When we “recognize” we value the product or service they provide. When we “appreciate,” we value the person behind the task. By distinguishing this, we are able to connect deeper with our teams.

We keep an open line of communication to our front-line teams. By taking a positive, proactive approach to problem solving, we work to identify best practices and innovative solutions as new challenges arise. Often, we find the answer amongst the people doing the work. Our workflows have been designed with both patient and staff in mind. We use AIDET as a guideline across all of our departments.

We all had great plans for Banner Imaging and our teams. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, we had to find a way to support our dedicated employees in a way that we were not expecting. We were mindful about staffing, doing everything we could to avoid a reduction in workforce. Like imaging practices across the country our volumes dropped dramatically. We redeployed team members to help in urgent care locations, to make masks, to help at COVID testing sites. Many volunteered to take flex time, sabbatical or leave of absence. Our priority was to support our team members through this crisis in order to preserve our ability to come out of it.

Fortunately, we are building back toward our pre-COVID volume expectations and our team is stronger than ever. We will need more of these incredible health care heroes to meet our goals as we rev up our capacity and open new locations.

Why would anyone want to work here?

Our goal is to have our team ask, “Why wouldn’t you want to work here?”

Beth Allen, RT(R)(CT) CRA is director of clinical operations at Banner Imaging.

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