Healthcare Technology Management
When a group of 30 people influential in the biomed field met in May 2010 in Arlington, Va., our goals were to examine the future of the biomedical/clinical engineering/medical equipment maintenance arena and to select the most appropriate name for the profession. Attendees included biomedical educators, clinical engineers, BMETs, manufacturers, ISOs, directors, nurses, administrators, and the Office of Veterans Health Administration.
Most of the cost of the meeting was born by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), which contracted professional facilitators to guide the process.
AAMI was a participant, like everyone else, but it didn't exert a domineering role in the process to choose a name. For two grueling days, we discussed a variety of factors, eventually narrowing the field of suggested names down to a few. After eliminating "Clinical Engineering" and "Clinical Technology" and carefully debating whether "Support," "Service" or "Management" should be included in the name, we decided that "Healthcare Technology Management" was the best and most inclusive description of our profession. Everyone in the room stated that they could support the new name.
We felt this name was accurate, easily understood by the public and other healthcare workers, and allowed for expansion of the field in the future. The word "engineering" was limiting from the administrator's perspective and unworkable from the educator's perspective; we knew a college would never include "engineering" in the name of an associate's degree program. Likewise, the word "clinical" limited the scope of the profession to hospitals, when healthcare is clearly moving outside of hospitals. Lastly, the names "support" and "service" seemed to be passive and imply a sideline role instead of a leadership role.
There will be a follow-up meeting in Arlington in September 2012 to update our plans and evaluate the successes to date.