An Essential Education Tool for Radiology Leaders
By Myke Kudlas, M.Ed., RT (R)(QM)
Legendary college basketball coach John Wooden understood that if he wanted his teams to succeed, he needed to be a competent communicator, effective project manager, and consistent performance coach. Developing these leadership skills allowed Coach Wooden to build teams that were so successful that other programs struggled to compete against them. While his players graduated and moved on to the next level, the systems he created paved the way for his teams to win national championships year after year.
Like Coach Wooden, radiology administrators and managers of imaging departments can learn the strategies and skills to manage successful teams, run effective organizations, and develop future leaders.
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists understands the unique challenges that leaders face in the modern healthcare environment. That’s why we created Leadership Essentials, an online educational program that serves as a playbook for healthcare professionals interested in developing supervisory skills. The 10-module series introduces principles and tactics that help guide administrators and managers as they navigate the ins and outs of leadership.
In addition, Leadership Essentials addresses the topics that are especially important to radiology administrators, such as communication and information management, human resource management, and fiscal management.
For example, the series kicks off with a module that discusses the fundamentals of supervision, offering tips for being proactive and adapting to the changing needs of an organization and its employees. This includes understanding different patient segments and shifting demographics, meeting customer needs and expectations, and measuring customer satisfaction. The module also discusses the various responsibilities of supervisors such as scheduling employees and equipment, conducting effective meetings, and solving problems and conflicts in the workplace.
The series devotes an entire module to effective communication, a key responsibility of any manager. Whether it’s helping an employee fulfill their job responsibilities or ensuring that patients feel like they’re being cared for and heard, communicating clearly and thoughtfully ensures that the team is always ready to perform at its best. It’s a skill that is critical to any leader’s success.
Project management is perhaps one of the most challenging tasks an administrator or manager encounters. From setting direction to working side by side with their team to playing referee when problems arise, it’s a demanding job that requires wearing many different hats. Leadership Essentials outlines various project management methods and best practices to help leaders facilitate the completion of successful projects.
To be the best in one’s business, a healthcare provider must implement quality standards at their facilities. The quality standards module discusses how using Six Sigma and “Lean” systems can help radiology administrators overcome outdated processes to reduce overhead, improve productivity, and increase profitability and customer satisfaction.
Streamlining processes and identifying winning strategies help radiology administrators manage substantial budgets and navigate the maze of complex laws and regulations often present in healthcare settings.
Leadership Essentials teaches radiology administrators and managers how to create a budget, perform cost-benefit analyses, calculate return on investment, measure full-time equivalents to schedule employees, and apply productivity metrics. The series also discusses the impact of intangible and indirect costs on patients.
Those in leadership roles will benefit from a module on how to be an effective mentor or coach. Employees value ethical leaders who demonstrate integrity and are communicative, engaged, and open to new ideas. When leaders are transparent in the workplace, it’s a win-win for everyone because employees want to work for open, credible leaders, and customers want to deal with honest, transparent organizations.
For radiology administrators who are concerned with deciding how and who to train, Leadership Essentials is a cost-effective tool. It helps staff members learn the core principles of management to combine their insight into patient care and workflow with their newfound knowledge of running a business. The series also is a great way to provide medical imaging staff members with continuing education credit.
Every leader brings unique gifts to a team, but those who commit to continual learning set themselves apart. Coach Wooden once said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” It’s a great reminder for leaders in radiology that their ongoing growth and development will lead to successful teams that perform at the top of their game.
Myke Kudlas, M.Ed., R.T.(R)(QM), is Chief Academic Officer at the American Society of Radiologic Technologists.