I have been working in healthcare technology management (HTM) for many years. I was recently thinking of the common traits that define an HTM professional. The best ones, I’ve found, follow the principles of RICH:
If they need to find a part or a way to repair a piece of equipment, they will find a way to do it. Good HTM professionals scour for parts using trade magazines and the Internet, and I’ve even seen them watch YouTube videos on how to repair a laser printer. They will post on biomed forums looking for answers. They will reach out to their colleagues working at competing hospitals for the answer. Bottom line: They will get it done.
Give these HTM professionals a problem that they don’t understand, and they will research it until they know everything about it. That includes taking online classes, IT resources online, and even getting a certification. We will rise up to meet any challenge.
I’ve seen BMETs run down to the local electronics store to get a new hard drive so they can get the equipment back up as soon as possible. I’ve seen them find replacement equipment when none is available at the hospital. I’ve seen them stay in the operating room to manually keep a pneumatic bladder working. A customer focus can mean anything from helping a visitor find their way in the hospital to keeping equipment running in an emergency or even helping to evacuate patient during a natural disaster.
It also doesn’t matter if a BMET works for the original equipment manufacturer or a third party. They’re always willing to help in-house staff with their knowledge. When one HTM professional is called into the OR, they ask a new BMET in the shop to come learn. Some even go on mission trips to help install and train on donated medical equipment.
That is why the HTM field is so exciting and rewarding me—because so many of us truly are RICH with knowledge, expertise, and the motivation to do a great job.
David Braeutigam, MBA, CHTM, CBET, is president of Braeutigam Enterprises LLC in Arlington, TX, and a member of AAMI’s Technology Management Council.