When SIR’s services lines concept launched in 2009, several eager and dedicated groups of volunteers undertook a series of potentially daunting tasks:
• Develop focused plans to guide SIR in improving the clinical care of patients along disease (not procedural) lines
• Help lead SIR in implementing those plans consistently across its activities within and across each clinical area
• Contribute specific expertise to enhance SIR programs and the work of other divisions
The first two service lines (PAD and IO) soon expanded with the 2010 addition of Venous and Neuro and the 2013 addition of Renal.
By any definition, the work of the service lines has been a tremendous success—particularly in how they have functioned as strategic bodies and worked within existing divisions (namely Education, Standards, Economics and Annual Meeting) to incorporate domain-specific initiatives and input into existing programs and activities.
Of course, as with any good thing, the question is how you can keep it growing. We’ve always known that the full potential of a domain-specific approach to member engagement like service lines would someday lead to more service lines and more members wanting to be involved. What we didn’t expect is that people and technology would show us how to do it.
On the people side, the service line chairs started to meet more frequently and work in the kind of collaborative manner that completes projects and accomplishes our goals. For example, in SIR’s first-ever effort of this kind, the chairs worked with their service lines to help craft, review and finalize the more than a dozen performance measures that were submitted to CMS, a number of which were accepted to move on to adoption—a huge win for IR. The service lines have also worked closely together and with other groups to help establish research priorities and develop valuable resources such as the “Best of” webinar series.
During this time, two things became abundantly clear: 1) many great ideas and energy in each disease area were contributed by SIR members beyond the small “core groups” that were originally established for each service line; and 2) some ideas that were effective for one service line had strong potential to be applied to other areas as well.
That is in large part why, over the past year, SIR has moved the governance of the service lines toward a single collaborative advisory body, known as the Service Line Advisory Board (SLAB). The SLAB is chaired by an At-large Councilor, Dr. Sanjay Misra, who is now a standing invited nonvoting member of the Operations Committee. This change was done to ensure that the efforts of the service lines are more in tune with the work of other SIR divisions, as well as to ensure that each service line collaborates to share best practices across disease areas.
In addition to changing the way service lines are governed, we are working simultaneously to engage a broader spectrum of SIR members in service line activities. This is where technology is our enabler.
With the investment we’ve made in SIR’s online infrastructure, we have been able to rethink not only about how service lines accomplish their work but also how we can leverage all members’ expertise to do even more. By launching SIR Connect, we can now have every SIR member self-select the clinical areas—i.e., service lines—in which they work and for which they want to volunteer their time and talents.
SIR’s new volunteer engagement tool on SIR Connect makes it easy for you to identify your professional areas of interest and where you would like to get involved, which we can align to the developing and ongoing efforts and activities we undertake on behalf of our members and the broader interventional radiology community (read more details in the “2016 Volunteer Spotlight,” which mailed with the summer issue of IR Quarterly).
New this summer, SIR Connect has launched service-line specific discussion groups that members will be opted into based on their identified professional areas of interest.
This is where you, our members, come in. You now have more opportunities than ever to directly impact the growth and development of your society through your engagement with service lines. This isn’t about the “usual faces” taking on the expected roles. It’s about you—the lifeblood of our organization—working together with your colleagues to achieve common goals and move your society forward.
This article was adapted from the Executive Director’s Column in the summer edition of IR Quarterly. Log in to read the full issue online here.