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AAMI: Biomed field gets new name

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | May 05, 2011
'Healthcare technology
management' is the
new name.
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."
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Carole Lamarque

new name for radiology engeneering

May 05, 2011 09:47

do believe the new name is very vague and will
lead to more confusion for the public at large,
for professionals to identify, and will serve on-
ly to allow companies responsible for providing
the service to hire more unskilled service-men/wo-
men. It is a diservice to the profession. The new name invokes, in fact, compiled data on me-
dical information, rather than the actual servi-
cing of the machineries.

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(29)

Ken Kirby

Biomed

May 05, 2011 09:48

I'm from the days of names like Medical Maintenance, Biomedical eng...I think it is important to keep some kind of identifier in the name that a person off the street would know what the Dept does. Clinical Eng, Biomedical Eng, work pretty good but Technology Mgt leads the person to believe the dept is inventing something rather than repairing. If you have you own business the name is very important and needs to tell what you do with out any doubt. Just when all the nurses in the hospital are used to calling "biomed" when they have a problem you are going to change that. Most dept that manage other modalities branch them off when they get too big anyway. Just keep the name Biomedical Equipment Management or Biomedical Eng, Biomedical something please.

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Lenny Place

healthcare technology management

May 05, 2011 09:48

To me management means manage, what are they forgetting the repair side of our job. They really have way to much time on there hands to come up with such a name. I agree with Ken keep the Biomedical in the name I started in the field in the late 70's as a Medical Maintenance Technician, then to Biomedical Engineer, then to Clinical Engineer which I do not mind but this new one is just not right.

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Daryl Anderson

Healthcare Technology Management

May 05, 2011 12:22

New name sounds like an IT person or Insurance Provider. We will continue to use Biomedical or Clinical Engineer, although I never liked the Clinical Title as it sounds "Clinical" We use Biomedical Technolgist for our Biomedical Equipment staff and Imaging Specialist for our
Imaging equipment, X-ray, Nucmed, CVL Lab, Radiation Oncolgy etc.and Lab Specialist for that dept equipment.These are names decided on by Trimedx and Ascension Health consisting of over 100 Hospital locations.

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(1)

Stephen Zigelstein

Not Happy with AAMI New title

May 05, 2011 04:43

I din't like the name, I believe it will cause more confusion to those outside the career field as it does not say clearly what we do. It sounds to close to IT titles and it sounds like we sit in an office not out in the facilities doing the hands on work. This title is just one of the facets of what we do. I would prefer to see the name retain "Biomed or Biomedical" as that is something most healthcare workers currently identify with. My suggestion would be "Biomedical Equipment Technology Management"

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(2)

Steve Arey

Not a profession until credentials are required

May 05, 2011 04:43

I have been very disappointed in AAMI for a long time. It is my opinion that this "job" whatever you want to call it, can not be labeled a "profession" until you are required to be credentialed.
Just like the nursing profession a 100 years ago went through. Today, in my State you must be Certified just to wipe patients butts.
I was certified over 20 years ago and you guys "in charge" have been putting the cart before the horse the whole time.

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(3)

Deb Hoyt

New Title for Clinicial Engineering

May 06, 2011 09:39

I think you will just confuse people more than they already are. 5 years ago we had to stop answer the phone as Biomed and Answer as Clinicial Engineering. 5 years later people still ask is this Biomed! You are setting us up for more confusion that is not necessary, change the name back to Biomed or at least include that in the title. I think AAMI needs to focus on what we do as an organization and not worry about a Title Name, We are a service organization we are here to make sure that the Equipment is working and here to help the staff fix their issues when needed. Leave things along and focus on Promoting us as who we are and what we do, not being creative with a name change!

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Stewart Handy

First step forward, or backward?

May 09, 2011 10:22

I understand this first meeting was designed to come up with a new name that is 'forward thinking' and 'unifies' the profession under one name that all will recognize. That is a nice goal and I am sure much thought and effort went into this process to come up with HTM. In my opinion, the selection missed the mark and looks to take us a step backward into obscurity.
I would think changing our name, whatever that is where you work, is like trying to call a mechanic an 'automotive technology manager', a garbage collector a 'sanitation engineer', or a doctor a 'human physiology expert'. Makes something sound more important or gives it that 'extra nice' ring to it, but in the end, if your car is broken, you're going to call your 'mechanic'. My point is, no matter what name you try to come up with to describe us, others are going to call us what they are familiar with.
Deb Hoyt pointed out they still get calls to her shop asking if this is 'biomed' 5 years after they changed to 'clinical engineering'! I think people will get confused if they call the 'biomed shop' and someone answers 'this is healthcare technology management, may I help you?' I for one, would probably think I misdialed and got the IT shop!
My last analogy is this. If you got to the store to buy a TV, you will be offered something in LED, LCD, Plasma, 3D, internet ready, etc. but in the end, you will get it home, get it hooked up, and sit down to enjoy your favorite show on your new TV.
Same thing applies here. If a piece of 'healthcare technology' is broken where you work, isn't someone going to be looking for the 'biomed' to fix it?

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