Browns Mills, New Jersey is located in the north central portion of the state within an easy drive to Trenton or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Located in Browns Mills is the Deborah Heart and Lung Center. The center, which was founded 96 years ago, is New Jersey’s only cardiac and pulmonary specialty hospital.
Working in the center’s biomedical engineering department is a BMET III known to his friends and co-workers as “DJ”. Kamlesh Patel picked up the moniker because of his sideline DJ business.
For Patel, an early interest in fixing things and helping people, pointed him in the direction of biomed.
“Before I got involved with electronics or anything, I would always take apart TVs, or other electronics and put it together at home,” Patel says.
“My family would always call me to fix computers or any electronic device. I wanted a career in computers first, and medical field, and helping patients. So when I heard about this profession, it was the perfect profession for me to use my talents to help the patients and customers, when it comes to technology in the hospital,” he adds.
To prepare to enter the profession, Patel got a mix of school and experience.
“I went to college to get my degree in biomed engineering, then I did volunteer work for about a year at Somerset Medical Center; that training and education helped me get my job today,” he says.
“When I first got my job, I went to manufacturer schools to get more detailed training on the equipment that I work on. I would first get to know the equipment and read the user manual, then go to school so I knew what I am getting into. My boss is big on education, so to this day, I still go to training schools and learn more and more every day,” Patel says.
Today, he specializes in respiratory equipment, ultrasound equipment, anesthesia machines and critical care areas.
The Squeaky Wheel
Patel has provided feedback to equipment makers to point out defects and get results.
“I have dealt with a few recalls for manufacturers such as the Baxter infusion pump, where they didn’t believe me about an issue and it was a recall issue,” he says.
“Error 322 kept coming up on the pump, however it wouldn’t come up on the screen at times. Baxter did not believe me, and I even talked to a few managers, but still no answer from them. Then, next thing you know, I got a letter saying there was a recall for system error 322,” Patel says.
In addition to infusion pumps, he has tackled a network problem with a manufacturer as well.
“Recently, I worked with Mindray Ultrasound, with their new software; there was an issue with [the] network connection after the upgrade. If you unplug it from the wall, and plug it back in, it says its connected, however it’s not connected,” Patel says.
“Mindray could not duplicate the issue at their company. So after months of talking to them and sending them pictures and videos, they came out to our hospital and discovered the issue and were able to fix it,” he adds.
Besides helping out manufacturers, he is very cost conscious and uses his negotiation skills for part pricing and device purchases.
His cost-conscious approach and hard work have been noticed by his employer.
“I have been star of the month at my hospital and got nominated two to three times in the past two to three years.”
The most recent star award, this past spring, was for cost savings exceeding $200,000. In his nomination letter, he was credited with saving the non-invasive department $15,000 because of his research for replacement part and equipment repair options.
The nomination said that he negotiated with service vendors to get better pricing, arrange for free loaner equipment while vendor defects were corrected and identified national recalls affecting patient safety.
Music is in Patel’s blood and it has grown into a side business. He exercises his creative side and uses skills from his side business to aid his work also.
“I love music, so I DJ on the side. Music changes people’s moods and with music I can make memories for people at their events and make sure they have a great time. I DJ events like weddings and other parties as well. I have DJ’ed for a few Bollywood stars and some famous artists as well. I also make my own remixes so I can give my clients and audience a different type of flavor of music at different events,” Patel says.
“I also apply it to my professional work, such as customer service, and being more professional, negotiating skills, going above and beyond for your customers, rather than just doing your job and calling it a day,” he adds.
At home, his life includes a new wife and he is the son that parents hope for.
“I recently just got married and have my parents with me; I love to take care of them,” he says.
Patel explains how he would characterize himself for readers.
“Give 110 percent from my heart when it comes to work. Always go above and beyond for everything. Hard working, caring, hopefully one day go to a management role. I love to help others,” he says.
In the recent star of the month nomination, the writer noted that the reason for nominating Patel was his “motivation to make sure Deborah and the clinical staff have what they need to make sure our patients are well taken care of.”
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