by Brendon Nafziger
, DOTmed News Associate Editor | May 05, 2011
The results are in, and the biomedical engineering and clinical engineering department are out.
At a two-day meeting last week hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, more than two dozen industry leaders picked a new name for the profession responsible for maintaining and servicing medical equipment.
It's "healthcare technology management."
"We felt that this name was accurate, easily understood by the public and other health care workers, and allowed for expansion of the field in the future," Pat Lynch, a biomedical support specialist with Global Medical Imaging, said in a statement.
The meeting, which ran from April 28-29 at AAMI's Arlington, Va. headquarters, was attended by 30 engineers, technicians, educators and corporate leaders.
AAMI, half of whose 6,000 members are biomeds, said the assembled guests also worked on creating a future vision for the field.
What's in a name
The name was decided after a long, "passionate" discussion among attendees, guided by two professional facilitators.
The final word was the last piece to fall into place, AAMI said.
"The group felt strongly the word 'management' was important there," Patrick Bernat, director of health care technology management for the group, told DOTmed News. "There's a desire for the profession to be a partner in the health care team, and not just in a support role. The name is open to that [interpretation]."
AAMI convened the meeting
, dubbed the Future Forum on Technology Management, because the nomenclature for the biomed department varies from hospital to hospital: at one hospital the department might be called "clinical engineering," but at another, "medical technology services." And the group thought some naming uniformity could help the profession as it grows by giving people outside the industry a unified term that would be instantly recognizable.
The group also pointed out that the attendees, not the society, chose the name -- AAMI's role was only in hosting and organizing the event.
AAMI also stressed that no one has been asked to change any business cards yet. The new name applies to the field or profession as a whole. At the conference, the matter of individual job titles was not addressed.
"This particular meting was not intended to change anybody's job titles," Bernat said.
Ken Maddock, vice president of clinical engineering and telecommunications services for Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, and a member of AAMI's board, said, in a statement, that the meeting was merely a "first step in a journey."