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Clinical engineering in an age of reform

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | May 30, 2013
From the May 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Greg Mika

Greg Mika, manager of the clinical engineering department at Martha Jefferson Hospital, and president of the Virginia Biomedical Association: Clinical engineering is definitely becoming more important to the overall hospital. We were the guys behind the scenes who fixed something that broke. Nowadays, with electronic medical records and all the networked devices, we’ve become so much more.

(Hospital executives) are also starting to realize they need us more. In my health system, we built a new hospital and moved in almost two years ago. I was involved in the planning process from the very beginning. In years past, that might have been an afterthought.

Steve Yelton

Steve Yelton, chairman of electrical engineering technologies department, in the Center for Innovative Technologies at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, and member of AAMI’s Technology Management Council: I feel that biomeds and particularly hospital leadership should embrace this name of the field and consider that for their clinical engineering, biomedical engineering, or like-named departments. It is important to note that at this point, only the profession name “Healthcare Technology Management” has been chosen. It would be great if the department names within hospitals could become (the) “Healthcare Technology Management” Department. The director of the department may be director of Healthcare Technology Management. This would be a great first step in standardizing our profession name.

Heidi Horn

Heidi Horn, vice president of clinical engineering service with SSM Integrated Health Technologies, and a member of AAMI’s TMC: I would argue (and my colleagues may disagree), the people who participated in AAMI’s first Future Forum did not rename the field that solely repairs and maintains medical equipment. They named a NEW field — healthcare technology management — that encompasses much more than just maintaining medical equipment (albeit maintenance is a part of it).

The name, Healthcare Technology Management, also takes into account that the lines between medical devices and Information Technology (IT) are becoming blurred. It’s not hard to imagine that in 10 years almost all medical devices may be computerized, on a network, and/ or interfaced with other systems or software. Effective HTM professionals must have an understanding of

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