A common theme for many years and escalating now is the need for qualified healthcare technology management (HTM) technicians. We have heard you and are working diligently to effectively look “outside the box” to address this challenge. A group of us at AAMI and beyond are working on attaining a National Science Foundation planning grant before the end of this year to create a national HTM education center and expand academic programs in general. While the exact structure of the education center is yet to be determined, the need is real. HTM college programs across the country are closing due to lack of funding even though there are numerous job opportunities for graduates. We hope that this grant will alleviate some of the challenges we face with our workforce pipeline and retirements.
We very much need letters of support from stakeholders in our community who agree that the grant would serve a valuable need. Please send your letter to HTM educator Barb Christe or me at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively. We need those letters before the end of this month.
To give you more background about this effort, getting this grant will allow us to convene a small group of academic and industry leaders to identify the framework and structure of a center. We want to strengthen the education of technicians who support the use of medical technology vital to the safe and effective delivery of medical care. Much like the successful Future Forum activities of AAMI, this effort would involve a facilitator who would work with this group to hash out ideas for the center. In general, that center would seek to transform the educational opportunities available in the profession to better reflect the emerging technologies and the expanding interconnectedness of medical devices.
The goals of such a center include the following:
- Transform the educational opportunities and experiences for engineering technology students who would like to focus on medical devices (AS/BS/certificates).
- Increase medical device engineering technology (MDET) program development and delivery of cutting-edge content such as medical device cybersecurity and interoperability, especially remotely-available materials for alternative-format delivery such as online instruction.
- Create student support systems to improve retention and program completion, promote the development of the professional self in learners.
- Increase the number of potential faculty members who possess appropriate academic credentials, mentoring future faculty.
- Improve career awareness and recruitment into the MDET profession.
- Create pathways and connections for K-12 to college.
- Design partnerships with potential employers to offer internships, apprenticeships, and other transition-to-work pathways.
Hopefully you are saying, “This project sounds great and is just what we need to educate HTM professionals in the future. What can I do to get involved with this project?” First, we need your letters of support to help articulate the need for such a center. Write us now!
Later, if we are successful in securing the grant, we will be reaching out for information and data pertaining to this project. Again, if you are interested in writing a letter of support or getting involved with the project, please contact Barb Christe at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at email@example.com
The HTM community through AAMI is blessed with a very committed and informed group of industry leaders and educators who work together extremely well. I believe it’s because we listen to each other and value others opinions.
We want to hear from you. Together, we can bring HTM training and education to new heights. Thanks again for everyone’s continued support.
Steven J. Yelton, PE, CHTM, is a senior HTM consultant and a professor of HTM at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in Ohio. He is a member of AAMI’s Board of Directors, Executive Committee, the AAMI Foundation’s Board of Directors, chair of AAMI’s Technology Management Council, chair of AAMI’s HTAC Committee, and a member of ABET’s Board of Delegates.