From May 20-26, AAMI, scores of hospitals and other health care facilities and service organizations will be showing their appreciation for the crucial work performed by the dedicated professionals who support, service and maintain medical equipment.
AAMI’s annual Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) Week was created to promote awareness of – and appreciation for – the critical work of biomedical equipment technicians, clinical engineers, imaging specialists, laboratory equipment specialists and other members of the HTM field.
With increasingly complex medical devices and technology being introduced into health care facilities, the purchase, maintenance and use of this equipment is more important than ever. So too are the HTM professionals who manage these activities.
“HTM professionals are crucial for keeping patients safe and delivering high-quality health care, yet their role can be underappreciated,” said Patrick Bernat, AAMI’s director of healthcare technology management. “AAMI’s Technology Management Council (TMC) created HTM Week to shine a light on their efforts and to say thank you.”
The TMC has planned a number of events that will run throughout the week.
To learn more, visit www.aami.org/HTMWeek.
AAMI Resource Takes Mystery Out of Developing an AEM Program
In the healthcare technology management (HTM) field there is a lot of confusion surrounding three little letters – AEM – starting with what the acronym even stands for, according to Matt Baretich, president of Baretich Engineering based in Fort Collins, Colorado.
“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] (the originator of the AEM concept) says that AEM is an abbreviation for ‘alternate equipment management,’ ” Baretich wrote in the introduction to his new AEM Program Guide. On the other hand, “The Joint Commission [TJC] … says it stands for ‘alternative equipment maintenance.’ … And that’s just the beginning.”
In the AEM Program Guide, Baretich, who has been consulting on HTM-related issues for two decades, seeks to address AEM-related terminology, offer ideas for practical implementation, and explain how to remain compliant with applicable standards and regulations.
“Unfortunately, there is not yet a consensus on exactly how to create an AEM program,” Baretich wrote. “Some of the proposed AEM policies I have seen are, in my opinion, simply not compliant with CMS and TJC requirements. That’s why the AEM Program Guide goes into such (excruciating?) detail about those requirements.”
Eventually there might be a formal AEM standard for the profession – one is currently in development – but many HTM departments need guidance now.
“This valuable document is designed to bridge from where we are today (limited resources) to a project that is just beginning and sponsored by AAMI: development of a formal standard focused on AEM,” George Mills, TJC’s former director of engineering, wrote in the foreword to the guide. “This document should begin to assure those curious enough to read it that implementing an AEM program is not only possible, but will result in improved HTM program management.”
Those improvements? Saving time or money, or both, according to Baretich.
“When we can reduce our costs while achieving the same level of safety, we should do it,” Baretich wrote. “Adopting an AEM procedure is not an academic exercise; it’s good business.”
The AEM Program Guide can be purchased from the AAMI Store online at www.aami.org/store or at the AAMI 2018 Conference & Expo.
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