By K. Richard Douglas
It’s not unusual for someone with an electronics specialty and training in the military to end up in healthcare technology management (HTM). It seems to be a good foundation.
Bob Meninno, director of biomedical engineering at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California can attest to that fact. Meninno works for Renovo Solutions.
Meninno was on a different trajectory in the U.S. Air Force and received the appropriate training for the career path he was on. His career path led him to HTM leadership instead.
“I did not attend a BMET training curriculum. My formal training was in electronics training in the USAF, primarily through a nine-month technical school program. I graduated with honors. My Air Force specialty code (AFSC) was Electro-Optical Recon Maintenance. We primarily maintained the camera systems on the SR71 and U2R reconnaissance aircraft,” Meninno says.
Even after leaving the military, Meninno did not go directly to HTM, but found it as a calling.
“Out of the military (USAF), I got a job with an electronics-manufacturing company. Not satisfied. I moved on, getting a job in a hospital facilities department and shortly started working on medical equipment (beds, sterilizers and the like). I found it satisfying; very engaging and work that I was recognized as being good at,” he says.
Meninno finds his work as a director, and his team’s contributions to their facility and success, gratifying.
“I have a passion for building processes to support Hoag. I love to bring new ideas and programs forward. I enjoy team building and growing our program. We went from a seven-person shop with a limited scope of responsibility to a team of 20 that has very high visibility and a great deal of engagement across the organization,” Meninno says.
Bob Meninno is the director of biomedical engineering at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.
Beyond some of the more routine tasks of a manager, Meninno is involved in a number of projects that help manage his facility’s medical devices and aid its clinicians.
He says that some of the most interesting of these projects are the biomedical asset management (BAM) program, clinical communications and an alarms management project.
“BAM or Biomedical Asset Management is a program that provides for data driven medical device replacement planning, as well as planning for net new equipment. I am the business sponsor of the project. The project is supported by our asset management specialist and a program manager in addition to myself. We are busy throughout the year maintaining our five-year plan, administering to budget, conducting interviews to align with the clinical departments, executing on the ordering of new equipment and maintaining all of the interdepartmental workflows that support the operation of the project,” Meninno explains.
He says that this project has a direct tie-in with the equipment committee, that he chairs.
“This project has been jointly developed by Hoag and Renovo. It has been a great project to help build and is now in its first full year in operation. I am really excited to have this project nominated for the BI&T Bright Ideas Award. We are one of six top finalists. Once all of the articles are written, the Technology Management Council (TMC), will review them all and select one finalist. That finalist will be honored at an Awards Ceremony at the 2021 AAMI Exchange and will receive an award – fingers crossed,” Meninno says.
The alarms management project is another focus of Meninno’s that helps patients and clinicians.
“Hoag’s Clinical Communications and Alarms Management project is one of, if not the most, ambitious approaches to address this concern. I am a co-business sponsor for this project,” he says.
Meninno says that the program employs a lot of technology and integration to bring alarms, communications tools and clinical information directly to clinicians on a mobile device.
“We pull data from the monitoring systems and ancillary medical devices to provide only the most actionable alarms. We employ smart alarms that look at more than one piece of clinical information to produce alarms that are more representative of the patient’s condition and help us filter our nuisance alarms,” Meninno says.
“All of this data is also used for retrospective analysis to look for trends and opportunities for improvement as well as by our Strategic Analytics team to apply to process improvement projects. We hope to begin employing real-time dashboards to our frontline staff that help them manage their patient and the supporting workflows. Our clinical communication/alarms project will be presenting at AAMI in New Orleans this year,” Meninno adds.
When not on the job, Meninno enjoys family, sports and eating out.
“I love hockey. I can’t even stand on skates, but I watch as many Bruins games as I can and see them whenever they are in Orange County. I also like to try new restaurants,” he says.
“I have a wife and two teenage daughters who very much enjoy living in Southern California,” Meninno adds.
Meninno says he is very proud to be a member of the HTM community and to work in the field.
“It has always been one of my passions to promote the HTM field by bringing value to all corners of our organization from clinical to finance. I love building processes and programs that help us demonstrate our value daily and secure growth opportunities for our team members,” he says.
Asked what readers should know about him, he has some specific advice for those entering the field.
“I would like TechNation readers to know that if you are interested in being a biomedical equipment technician, please reach out to someone already in the field. There are many paths to success that don’t involve burying yourself in debt for technical training that can be obtained at a lesser cost and built upon. You will learn so much more from the senior BMETs in our field. They are the backbone of our profession,” Meninno says.
Good advice from someone who has proven that thoughtfulness and dedication can advance a career and benefit colleagues.
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