I am not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I have had something on my mind for 2017.
As biomeds or healthcare technology management (HTM) professionals, we do not get the credit we deserve. I don’t want that to come across in a sour grapes sort of way. I’m simply pointing out a truth. When is the last time you heard, “I am going to that hospital because I heard its biomed department is great” or “The biomed department at that hospital is one of the highest ranked by U.S. News & World Report.”? You don’t hear such comments because no one knows we exist outside of our own organizations.
Historically, we’ve not been ones to blow our own horns—and that needs to change. We must find a way to strongly (yet humbly) promote what we bring to the healthcare arena.
We are all capable of marveling at the talents of an amazing surgeon, athlete, singer, or actor. We marvel because can see incredible skills and talents that exceed the norm. Why can’t we do the same thing with biomeds? Mastering the skills to manage and maintain sophisticated medical devices and healthcare technology is not easy. To be a great HTM professional reflects a commitment to learning, service to others, and top-notch healthcare.
I am so proud to be a biomed when individuals tell me or a member of my team how thankful they are that we are there and they could not do what they do without our support. To get such feedback is much more than receiving a compliment; it is an acknowledgement of our worth.
Not all our colleagues get that kind of feedback, and we need to be able to highlight our own skills and value so that others can see it as well. Even though U.S. News & World Report may never issue a list of the best biomed departments in the country, we should all feel we could be on that list if it existed.
AAMI does a great job with awards and recognitions, but let’s take it upon ourselves to do more. For 2017, I propose that individual HTM departments promote themselves for what they are: trusted technical and clinical partners at the bedside and beyond. By doing that, our clinical partners may see us in a different light.
Let me know what you think about this idea. How are you presenting your department in your organization? What are you doing to get out of the basement and onto the floors where we should be?
Donald Armstrong, CBET, CHTM, works in the Clinical Technology and Biomedical Engineering Department at Stanford Health Care in California. He is a member of AAMI’s Technology Management Council.