According to Barbara Christe, healthcare engineering technology management program director and associated professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the major difference between the two editions is the specificity of the competencies. The new version offers more details to make the document easier to use.
“We worked to more narrowly define the competencies and topics to provide greater clarity. For example, instead of listing ‘information technology concepts’ as an educational topic, the second edition talks about communication protocols, address schemes, and microprocessor fundamentals like memory and registers,” Christe explained.
The primary objective of the core competencies is to provide academic institutions with the information necessary to develop and validate their curricula; however, students can use the guide to ensure they have everything employers expect in entry-level employees, said Steve Yelton, an HTM professor at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
“Students can use this information to make sure they have the tools and skills that employers are looking for,” Yelton, who also contributed to the core competency guide, said. “They may find that there are areas where they are lacking and may choose to take additional coursework while they are still in college. This is very valuable information that would be hard for them to obtain on their own.”
Because the technology associated with health care is constantly changing, the committee fully expects to continue to update the guide.
“Competencies will shift and evolve, as in every technology-based discipline. As a result, the document will continue to be updated in order to remain relevant and useful,” Christe said.
AAMI Asks High Schoolers to Envision the Future of Healthcare Technology
AAMI is inviting all high school students to enter its second annual essay contest for the chance to win a $500 gift card. To participate, students should describe in 500-700 words a piece of healthcare technology – a medical device or system – of the future. Essays should explain: 1) what the device or system would do, and 2) how it would improve patient care.
“Last year’s contest was such a great success, we decided to start a new tradition,” said Patrick Bernat, AAMI’s director of healthcare technology management. “This is a chance for high school students to learn about the opportunities that exist within the healthcare technology field and flex their creativity.”
To enter the contest, students should email their essays to Bernat at firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 1, 2016. Participants should use the following format for file names and email subject lines: ESSAY-LASTNAME. For example, a submission from Bill Smith should have “ESSAY-SMITH” in the email subject line and “ESSAY-SMITH.doc” as the file name.
Winners will be announced in January. First prize will be a $500 gift card; second prize: a $300 gift card; and third prize: a $200 gift card. All prize winners also will receive a one-year AAMI student membership. In addition, an article about the winning authors will be published in an AAMI publication.
“Next year will mark AAMI’s 50th anniversary, and we will be celebrating the innovations and milestones that advanced healthcare technology to what we see today,” Bernat said. “But we also recognize that the next 50 years of innovation lies with students. We are excited to see what the future looks like through their eyes.”
Veteran Clinical Engineer Joins AAMI Foundation
James Piepenbrink, who most recently served as director of clinical engineering at Boston Medical Center, will join the AAMI Foundation this month as its deputy executive director. Piepenbrink has more than 30 years of clinical engineering experience and has served as an active member of the AAMI Foundation’s National Coalition for Alarm Management Safety since its inception.
“I enjoyed working at Boston Medical Center and view my time there as a great responsibility and a privilege,” Piepenbrink said. “I have met and worked with amazing people whose dedication and energy made the time fly by. In the end, though, a change in focus and the opportunity to participate fully in the work of the Foundation was something that I welcomed. I see this as a tremendous opportunity to be a part of something special and important.”
Piepenbrink, who received the 2016 AAMI Foundation & Institute for Technology in Health Care’s Clinical Solution Award, will bring a new perspective to the work of the AAMI Foundation – that of the healthcare technology management (HTM) community.
“Having a hospital-based engineering perspective will hopefully provide some insight into the challenges that the clinical staff deal with on a daily basis and how HTM professionals can help bridge the gap between devices, systems, and patient care,” Piepenbrink said.
This is a perspective that the AAMI Foundation’s Executive Director Marilyn Neder Flack welcomes.
“I am thrilled that Jim accepted this position,” Flack, who also serves as AAMI’s senior vice president of patient safety initiatives, said. “I have known him for years because of his significant contributions in the area of alarm management. His experience and insight will be a major asset as we continue to strive to improve patient safety. He is going to be a wonderful addition to AAMI and the AAMI Foundation.”
Did You Hear? AAMI Podcast Series Turns Two
It was just two years ago that the AAMI podcast series made its first appearance. Since then it has racked up 18 episodes (and counting) and nearly 17,500 downloads.
The award-winning series, which is developed in partnership with the studios of Healthcare Tech Talk, explores today’s most pressing healthcare technology challenges and the multidisciplinary approaches that are being used to clarify and resolve them.
“AAMI developed the podcast series to connect with the health care community in a new way. People may not always have the time to read a journal article, but they can enjoy a podcast while on the go. The conversations are always lively and informative,” said Sean Loughlin, AAMI’s vice president of communications. “We are excited about their growing popularity and have been fortunate to work with fantastic hosts and partners, Terry Baker and Kelley Hill.”
To listen to the series, go to www.aami.org/podcasts. The podcasts are free.
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