Change of Scenery
By James D. Lipcamon
“The only way to make sense out of
change is to plunge into it, move with it,
and join the dance.”
—Alan Watts, English Philosopher
There may very well be no other industry in which
there are as many catalysts for change than
the healthcare industry.
Many of you may not be aware that in
the last year I decided to change things
up in my life. After 19 years of employment at a hospital in western Iowa, I
decided to move and take a new job in
Charleston, South Carolina managing
the operations of two outpatient imaging centers. Many of you would probably
consider me crazy! I was definitely going
outside my comfort zone and leaving a
community I had become involved in
and developed many friendships. Nevertheless, it was an opportunity I could
not pass up. With change comes opportunity. Besides, change is a figment of
our imagination. Well, not quite.
In this process there were seas of
I definitely developed a new appreciation
for military families who are separated
for a year or more without seeing their
significant others. I moved not once, but
twice. Finally, my wife and I did get settled in and are enjoying the southeastern
part of the United States. The winters are
far more enjoyable than in the Midwest.
For those of you that actually enjoy winter, kudos to you.
The changes continued into April of
this year as I had to change cars. My 1999
Mercury Sable, which was a cream puff
of a car, had its transmission go. Back to
a car payment. Definitely a part of the
change I did not care for.
Change is something that a large percentage of people really do not care for.
Change is one of the few words in the
American vocabulary that can increase
a person’s pulse and respiratory rate
and cause loss of sleep. It even seems
when change is positive people react
When one sits back and thinks about
the changes that have occurred over a
lifetime it is unbelievable. I just think
about the music industry and how our
ability to play music has changed in our
cars! There was only radio, then eight
track tapes, then a smaller cassette tape,
and then came CDs. With each innovation came improvement in sound.
There may very well be no other
industry in which there are as many
catalysts for change than the healthcare
industry. There is no such thing as a
straight line in healthcare, which certainly creates a field of land mines and opportunity. Change is not something that
happens sporadically in this industry.
No matter where you go, change will be
there. Just think about the changes that
have occurred in medical imaging—for
example, CT. It started out as single slice,
then 4 slice, 8 slice, 16 slice, 32 slice, 64
slice, 80 slice, 128 slice. With each technological improvement came improved
diagnostic capability. There is the ability
to do computed tomography angiogra-phy (CTA) of the brain, chest, abdomen, and coronary arteries. Intravenous
pyelograms have become almost nonexistent as CT has become the standard
for kidney stone evaluation. However,
for every action there must be an equal
and opposite reaction. More education
for the technologist, more concerns
about patient safety, such as radiation
dose, and more PACS storage issues.
So why it that even though we know
change is a constant in our industry and