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Training tomorrow's HTM professionals

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | May 16, 2022
HTM Parts And Service
From the May 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

These relationships should also be more than just work-related, with biomeds getting to know the heads of departments and coworkers to build trust and care for one another, says Mackeil. "Everyone has something that you can talk to them about besides just work relationships. As long as you have a good network of relationships in your hospital you can accomplish almost anything. The same concepts work for all my service and sales reps at different companies. I'm very good about building my network of industry relationships. And it always pays dividends when I need help to support my caregivers.

Marshall says to take every opportunity to educate the people in hospitals about the role of biomeds, whether it be talking to them during rounds or even making small talk with C-suite executives on an elevator. He especially says that speaking up at EOC (Environment of Care) meetings should be a priority for HTM department heads. "The ones I've been in, it's a quick report out. There were no issues. But it's really getting the leaders of HTM to explain that EOC meeting and say, 'Yes, we did everything you wanted, but we did this, and we avoided this. We brought value in this way.' That way, we can really show the value of the field, and what it brings to that facility and provider network."

HTM departments also should have meetings and close relationships with IT. This can be tricky, as some healthcare organizations may have multiple IT segments, and others may not have strong distinctions between what tasks IT handles versus HTM departments. But with looming threats like more sophisticated cyberattacks and growing demands for system interoperability, collaboration between these two is essential. "As we move toward the 22nd century, everything has a computer inside. Basically, every piece of medical equipment is being interfaced or needs that network connection to be tested, validated or secured," said Berkey. "So, why aren't we looking at being on the same team versus being so disconnected and siloed."

Whether trying to recruit future biomeds or show hospitals the value that HTM professionals bring, it is important to present a concise image of the role that HTM personnel play in the structure and operations of healthcare organizations. This requires knowing the limitations in their field, speaking with different organizations about the benefits it provides and ensuring biomeds are valued, respected and receive proper wages and treatment.

"HTM is no longer an isolated support department located in the basement, where medical equipment goes to be serviced. We are an instrumental part of the entire organization," said Busdicker. "We have always played an important role in healthcare but it's time to elevate HTM out of the "fix it shop" mentality. We need to become proactive instead of reactive to ensure HTM is part of the overall healthcare solution. We need to be seen as contributors to the organization’s mission and vision. Education is extremely important in that process and ranges from staying current on technology to obtaining higher education and understanding the issues facing healthcare."

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