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Shane Kearney

Q&A with Shane Kearney of the North Central Biomedical Association

by Gus Iversen , Editor in Chief
The 2018 Annual NCBA Conference will be held at The Sugar Lake Lodge in Cohasset, MN on September 12 - 14.

HealthCare Business News spoke to Shane Kearney to find out what attendees should expect this year.

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HCB News: Can you tell us a little bit about the NCBA's origins and its history?
Shane Kearney: I reached out to some of the first officers and members to get their story on this, since I've only been in the organization about six years. From what I've gathered, the first conference was a lot of work, using service manuals to get contact information and cold call vendors for participation. Starting something from scratch was difficult, requiring a lot of leg work to just find what was out there, and even more of that drive to bring it together. Even though the conference was a four hour drive from the Twin Cities they had a great turnout from both members and vendors, and in the end all the hard work paid off and launched something we are all very proud of today.

HCB News: How did you originally get involved with the organization?
SK: I started working in biomed at Fairview as support staff for technicians, managers, and a director in October of 2010, that was my first position in the healthcare field. One of the other biomed staff at the time talked me into attending a couple NCBA quarterly meetings pretty soon after I started. Shortly after that I became an official member. I attended my first annual conference in 2012 and have stayed regularly involved since. About three and a half years ago, the vice president at the time and I recognized an opportunity with the organization's webmaster role. We approached the other officers and discussed how my strengths could help the organization. I was voted in at next meeting.

HCB News: What kind of issues do you expect will dominate conversations at this year's meeting?
SK: Alternative Equipment Management (AEM) plans have been a big topic of discussion lately, and rightly so. While there are guidelines in place, there are many approaches to having an effective, yet manageable, program. The NCBA meetings and annual conference are the perfect platform to learn and develop AEM best practices for organizations.

I have also seen a trend in local hospitals starting to rely on the clinical engineering departments for more than just repairs and preventative maintenance. Lifecycle management and planning is taking center stage in a lot of discussions with leadership to help identify ways to make the hospital's budget go further. Because of the work that clinical engineering has been doing for years to maintain a robust inventory we are able to help drive discussions around what really needs to be replaced to help keep clinical operations running smoothly, what can be deferred for future replacement, and even what advancing medical technologies are around the corner to watch out for. As an organization, we need to help facilitate conversations around this so that our members are prepared to help make these decisions.
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