HTM Week is just a couple of weeks away, May 17 through 23. This is the perfect opportunity to reach out to your customers, clinicians and administrators. Why?
Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) professionals are vital members of any world-class health care delivery team, according to the AAMI website.
“Clinical engineers, biomedical equipment technicians, and other highly skilled professionals use their expertise to ensure the safety, efficacy, and availability of life-saving health care technologies, while keeping health care costs down,” according to the website. “Working with clinicians and other health care professionals to ensure the highest standards and best practices in medical device safety, security, interoperability and functionality, HTM professionals are responsible for providing a wide array of service offerings.”
Yet, we in Healthcare Technology Management are constantly complaining that we are misunderstood, underappreciated, and underutilized. HTM Week is a perfect time to begin to remedy some of these issues.
Here are a dozen ways to be proactive and address those concerns:
Begin a monthly program to recognize a department who works well with HTM. The customers who make our lives easier should be recognized, and their helpful actions can inspire others to take proactive ownership of their own equipment, also.
Produce a PowerPoint to show what HTM is, what we do, and include some photos of us in action. Explaining to others about what we do is a very difficult task. A thoughtful, well-constructed PowerPoint can help educate our customers, as well as help the shop staff to develop their own story to use when speaking to those outside of Biomed.
Create a story of successes, naming customers who benefited or who contributed to the success. We can all think of times when our presence solved or prevented a problem that may have resulted in an interruption to patient care or a large financial loss to the institution. Remember and tell these stories. They exemplify why we do what we do.
Create a list of departmental statistics – number and value of equipment supported, number of PM and corrective work orders, number of after-hours calls responded to, total hours of experience represented, diversity of backgrounds, etc. We collect so much data, but we are guilty of not utilizing it to our best advantage. Grind the numbers and let them tell the story of what we do and how much we save.
Hold a celebration luncheon in your department. An internal department celebration is uplifting and can raise morale of an otherwise overworked staff.
Hold an open house in your department. Invite customers to attend. Clean up your shop and invite customers inside. And then keep it clean and neat forever.
Take you boss (administrator, V.P. or COO) to lunch.You should have a friend upstairs. It is time and effort well spent to keep this person solidly on your side.
Create a departmental roster – a single page that lists every person (biomed and support), a photo, background, and current responsibilities. Most Biomedical departments take great pride in the personal relationship they have with their customers. Shouldn’t you provide them with a brief summary of each person in your department so that they can get to know you even better?
Hold a contest for the customer who can give the best testimonial of HTM success. Contests are a wonderful break from the routine. And engaging your customers in the contest is an even better way of improving your relationship with them.
Have an information table in the cafeteria, with literature, handouts, posters, candy, and staffed by HTM personnel. Handing out flyers, brochures, even small gifts (like flashlights or sunglass holders) is a great way to seek out those unexpected interactions with customers when they are outside of their workspace.
Visit www.AAMI.org/meetings/HTMWeek to see free posters and sample letters to administration, as well as news releases.
Nominate your department or a member of the team to be featured as the Department Profile or Professional of the Month in TechNation magazine. Email nominations to TechNation Editor John Wallace at email@example.com.
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