In ABII’s first year of operation, 189 imaging informatics professionals joined the first class of CIIPs. Seven years later, ABII has increased its ranks by more than seven times. Today more than 1,320 individuals hold the Imaging Informatics Professional designation from ABII.
One significant reason is the recent recognition of CIIP qualification under the technical standards of some heavyweight groups like American College of Radiology, American Association of Physicists in Medicine and Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM).
Get the perspective of three of those diplomates who share their thoughts on the credential in this inaugural issue of QI2.
For Stacy McClenahan — having been a PACS administrator for several years, on both coasts, in different types of facilities — it all came together when she found ABII and earned her CIIP in 2014.
“I’ve found a professional home in ABII,” she says. Most of her PACS colleagues at Kaiser are CIIPs, too. It’s a big change from having worked mostly on her own in facilities where she was essentially her own one-woman PACS department. “It was lonely, but I learned a lot,” she recalls. “Now, though, it’s really great— routinely sharing knowledge and experience with so many professionals both in my organization and throughout the profession.”
Almost all imaging informatics specialists come to the job from either the R.T. path or the IT path, at about half each. In Kaiser, IT makes up the vast majority at approximately 93 percent. Stacy calls herself a hybrid. “I had 13 years experience in radiology departments, starting in the file room and moving into RIS and then PACS a couple of years later.”
She thinks that background was perfect preparation for passing the CIIP exam. Understanding clinical workflow was particularly helpful, she says. “Common knowledge of what-end-is-where for a prone-position CT, being able to distinguish a CT from an MR image, knowing which procedures are radiation-producing and which are not — that’s not typical background for the average IT professional.” Those candidates would be well-served by “buying the book and studying for six months,” she advises.
Her CIIP designation helps Stacy reinforce that she knows what she’s talking about. “I guess they take me more seriously with those initials behind my name.”
Luke Bideaux, BSRT, R.T.(R)(ARRT), CIIP
Clinical Applications Manager, RamSoft, Inc.
We’ve all heard of those laser-focused individuals who identify a calling, set out on a path and don’t stray until they reach their goals, right? Well, meet Luke Bideaux.
Born at about the same time as PACS was, Luke very early zeroed-in on imaging informatics as a career. Maybe it was that inspirational R.T. uncle of his who saw into the future. Then add the fact that young Luke had a knack with computers. He enrolled in a radiologic technology program at University of Sioux Falls, followed by a stint at Mayo.
While studying radiography at Mayo Clinic, Luke “shadowed the PACS coordinators — observing their dedication to quality and regard for the CIIP credential.” He knew that if he was going to realize his goal of becoming an industry-leading imaging informatics professional, he needed to add those initials behind his name. Before he knew it, he was networking with SIIM board members who also held the CIIP.
As clinical applications manager for RamSoft USA, he has come to value the CIIP from two perspectives. “Working with client companies,” he notes, “we search for CIIPs because we see them as organizational leaders who have a dedication to quality.” Secondly, he is using the CIIP certification as a way to develop his own team – with two members of his department following him on the path to IIP. He has come to see the CIIP exam as not only a designation, but as a developmental tool, as well — helping imaging informatics professions to balance their skill set and work on areas they need to improve in.
His employer supports Luke’s ABII activities, too. “They covered the cost of attending CIIP Bootcamp in 2012 and continue to underwrite CE efforts such as the CIIP Career Development Series from SIIM,” he says. ”Finding an employer that’s equally dedicated to professional growth and CE as I am,” he adds, has been crucial to his career progress.