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Getting ahead in HTM

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | May 27, 2020
From the May 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Numerous organizations offer certification courses for teaching BMETs new skills or how to manage specialized technology, such as laboratory or radiology equipment.

Danielle McGeary
“A certification is just a great way to show your employers and peers you meet a minimum competency and you have the minimum knowledge and skills to do your job,” said Danielle McGeary, vice president of healthcare technology management at AAMI. “It also shows the initiative that you took to advance your professional career.”

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Learning as much as you can about technology is important not just from a device perspective, but also in terms of understanding how different pieces fit together for care delivery. “The more you understand the clinical environment,” McGeary said, “the more successful you’ll be in your role and the more you’ll be able to help implement new technology.”

Having a trusted advisor, perhaps a department leader, is another invaluable way to better understand health technology management and your role in the department.

“Look for a mentor because you really need someone to guide you through that initial phase,” said Sudhakar Nagavalli, president and principal at SunagMED, a certified MBE firm that provides consulting for health technology management and planning.

Advancement requires diverse skillsets
For many HTM professionals, upward mobility is a top objective. Some seek out management and supervisor roles, while others pursue opportunities in research or working alongside providers and nurses. Different resources are accessible in different work environments.

Attending industry events can be useful in this respect too, according to Nagavalli, who recommends meeting with other people in the industry as a way to get perspective on how things are getting done in your own facility. Above and beyond conventional educational opportunities, networking in this way can reveal useful opportunities for improvement that your managers and directors may not have considered.

The inexorable link between health technology and information technology is also something that BMETs should leverage to their advantage, and not shy away from.

“Any newcomer in this field has to double up on some skill sets in IT,” said Nagavalli. “All equipment is becoming interfaced with the electronic medical record, so that requirement of moving data into the EMR requires a general familiarity with IT terminology and integration with clinical information systems.”

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