I know you’ve heard of Beach Week in Daytona, but next week the students are being replaced by standards professionals (fondly referred to as standards geeks) and a good time will be had by all. After all, there is a reception on Wednesday evening! But in all seriousness, a lot gets accomplished during Standards Week and next week will be no exception.
The complete schedule for the week can be found at this link, and one can see the broad range of device types and issues being addressed. They range from A (Alarms) to S (Sphygmomanometers) with lots in between. One of the highlights is a meeting of the Small Bore Connector Committee whose ground-breaking work will soon change the practice of medicine by preventing misconnections and will ultimately save countless lives. Other highlights include the Medical Device Alarms Committee which has been working with the AAMI Alarms Steering Committee to help reduce the unintended consequences of alarm fatigue and work toward an industry standard that helps define and design meaningful and appropriate alarms. The Software and Healthcare Information Technology (SWIT) Management Committee will meet for the first time and tackle how to best structure themselves so they can effectively manage the medical device needs of software, interoperability, wireless, mobile applications and cybersecurity standards.
Standards development is a long and tedious process, but rewarding and Standards Weeks help the committees focus on the work at hand. It doesn’t hurt to provide a location warmer than home, and Florida usually accomplishes that. But as with anything, much of the significant work happens outside the meeting room. Providing an environment where colleagues can meet together, then go out for dinner and a beer can result in great work and consensus building, which is what standards is all about. Individual committees can meet, and do, but the cross-fertilization when multiple committees meet has a way of energizing all the groups and learning from each other, again resulting in better products.
AAMI now has two dedicated Standards Weeks per year – one at our AAMI Annual Conference and Expo in June and the second in early December. The locations will change, but should always provide a warm and inviting environment for getting together, collaborating, and writing necessary and valuable standards that focus on patient safety. If you are interested in the AAMI standards program, visit www.aami.org/standards/tc_join.html and learn how to get involved.
Senior Vice President, Standards Policy & Programs