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, www.aami.org/store.
AAMI’s Horizons Supplement Highlights Healthcare Technology’s Cyber Sentries
In the face of increasingly aggressive cyberattacks on protected health information, as well as the threat of medical devices being hacked by cybercriminals, AAMI has released the fall 2017 issue of its award-winning, peer-reviewed publication, Horizons.
Horizons is the twice-yearly supplement to AAMI’s peer-reviewed journal, BI&T. This issue presents best practices from leading experts to help healthcare technology management professionals and health IT professionals lock down sensitive data, devices and systems.
For more information visit www.aami.org/Horizons.
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