For those looking to join the ranks of the more than 70 certified healthcare technology managers (CHTM) in 2017, AAMI has published a new resource to help guide your exam preparation.
The CHTM Study Guide, written by Patrick K. Lynch, CBET, CCE, CHTM, provides a solid review of the five core topic areas found on the exam: financial management, risk management, operations management, education and training, and human resources. This resource also includes concise guidance on these core principles, as well as practical examples of sound financial planning, routine documentation, and a quality improvement tool. In addition, the guide lists other valuable resources, as well as organizations and agencies of importance to healthcare technology managers.
As health care becomes more complex, certification is one way for healthcare technology management (HTM) professionals to highlight their ability to provide quality and trustworthy service. HTM professionals often seek certification as a way to demonstrate their accomplishments, mastery of skills, experience, and commitment.
“I think anybody who is looking to continue in this field for the long run should be looking into certification,” said Jennifer DeFrancesco, a lead biomedical engineer with the Department of Veterans Affairs and one of the first HTM professionals to earn the CHTM designation.
The 100-question CHTM exam covers two major areas: the management of healthcare technology operations and the management of personnel. Candidates for the exam are expected to have the skills and understanding to perform strategic, business, and change management, as well as handle employee relations.
“This certification provides the opportunity to demonstrate your operational and management skills, and it does measure a significantly different skill set than CBET,” said Mark Woods, CHTM, referring to the certification for biomedical equipment technicians. Woods is the director of clinical engineering at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, New Hampshire.
For more information about certification, visit the AAMI Credentials Institute at www.aami.org/aci.
Device Security to Take Center Stage at AAMI 2017 Conference
Kevin Fu, a widely respected leader in the field of medical device security, has been selected to give the annual Dwight E. Harken Lecture during the AAMI 2017 Conference & Expo in Austin, Texas, June 9-12. This general session honors the significant contributions that Harken, AAMI president from 1969-1970, made to medical science and technology.
Fu is CEO and chief scientist of Virta Labs, Inc. and an associate professor at the University of Michigan where he directs the Archimedes Center for Medical Device Security and the Security and Privacy Research Group.
“This is a great honor,” Fu said. “I really appreciate AAMI recognizing the importance of the field, which is critical for the safety and effectiveness of medical devices.”
In hospitals today, it would be difficult to find medical device technology that does not critically depend on computer software. Network connectivity and wireless communication have transformed the delivery of patient care. But connectivity comes at a price – vulnerability to hackers, viruses, and other malware.
Since federal regulators began tracking major health data breaches in September 2009, more than 1,700 incidents impacting nearly 170 million people have been posted to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights’ breach portal. More than 90 hacking incidents were reported in 2016 alone.
“I think things will continue to get worse before they get better simply because there’s a lag time between deploying compensating controls and seeing improved outcomes. In 2017, health care delivery organizations will continue to struggle to maintain the security of their clinical networks and medical devices because of the number of legacy devices out there,” Fu predicted. “Most medical devices were not designed with security in mind, and we’re still trying to catch up.”
During his presentation, Fu plans to provide insight into the risks, benefits, and regulatory issues for medical device cybersecurity and into the development of trustworthy medical device software.
“I hope that people will come out of my presentation with a less sensational view of the issues and a more optimistic view of the future of medical device security,” Fu said. “It’s not about eliminating risk but about controlling and managing risk. It can be done – it’s not impossible.”
Registration for AAMI 2017 is open, and those who register before March 20 will receive an “early bird” discount. For more information, visit www.aami.org/ac.
Publication Highlights Challenges and Solutions in Wireless Technology
AAMI’s most recent issue of its award-winning, peer-reviewed publication, “Horizons,” has a special focus on wireless technology in health care. The resource provides practical approaches, insights, and advice for professionals to safely and securely manage such technology.
Health care is increasingly reliant on wireless technology as medical devices and systems grow more interconnected and mobile. But the freedom that wireless provides also brings news risks and challenges – how do hospitals protect patient data from cyberattacks? How will regulators and industry manage the spectrum on which wireless devices operate? Can different devices – and the diverse people who work with them – speak with one another effectively?
This edition of “Horizons” – a publication distributed to AAMI members and subscribers – explores the challenges faced in the rapidly evolving world of wireless technology in health care, including wireless coexistence, spectrum management, cybersecurity, testing and maintaining wireless systems, keeping track of hospital assets, and bridging the gap among people, departments, and devices that may not always speak the same language.
“We’re hoping this issue of ‘Horizons’ will help AAMI members and others in health care who are grappling with the challenges posed by wireless technology,” said Sean Loughlin, vice president of communications at AAMI. “With each issue of ‘Horizons,’ we set out to offer unique insights and practical solutions to some of the more vexing challenges associated with one topic in healthcare technology. This particular edition should prove to be invaluable for health care organizations that are trying to figure out how to make wireless technology work safely and effectively.”
The issue features an in-depth wireless “roadmap for success” checklist, developed by members of AAMI’s Wireless Strategy Task Force, which health care organizations and manufacturers can follow step-by-step to improve the state of their wireless systems. Tips range from common-sense approaches, such as eliminating legacy devices, to more in-depth advice, such as building a certificate infrastructure or wireless intrusion detection system.
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