By Joseph E. Fishel
I don’t know about your operation and how you are addressing HTM issues. If you attend a conference or trade show, we may be at a seminar where a topic comes up and find out we are dealing with common issues. You may have some solutions that I want to get more detail on. So, we exchange contact information and I take some notes about what to follow up on. Everyday changes regarding regulations, standards, cyberattacks and more makes trying to keep up with technology difficult.
I attend conferences for many reasons, but primarily it is for information. This information can be in many different categories including imaging, biomedical, cost savings, alternate parts suppliers, alternate service suppliers, batteries, changes in regulations, new products, cybersecurity solutions and the list goes on.
Many attend a conference and just sort of drift around to look. I have developed a strategy that seems to work well for me. Most conferences today (such as AAMI, Imaging Conference and Expo, ISE and MD Expo) publish a pre-conference schedule lists seminars and speakers as well as an overview of the material to be covered. It also has a vendor list of who will have demos or a booth in the exhibit hall.
Recently, I was looking at companies that provide risk monitoring, vulnerability identification and management as well as mitigation, patching and vulnerability assessment. Conference attendance is a great way to view and compare vendors. Let’s say vendor A can do X and Y and then you see vendor B can do X, Y and Z. You can go back to vendor A and find out if they can do Z as well. This approach provides a broad view of what is available and who can provide it.
At the most recent conference I attended, I had the opportunity to look at many network detection offerings from different companies. All of these companies have been at conferences and are willing to show what their products can do. I sometimes have a list of recent issues and ask if a company’s product or solution can help. Many of us are being hit up with servers that need to be replaced. Quite often we have no clue what devices are talking to the server. With detection tools, you can see what devices are talking to a particular server IP address and the direction of the traffic – inbound, outbound or both ways. It took an eight-person committee working for four days to do what could have been done in less than 5 minutes. Have an issue that is slowing you down? Throw it on the table and ask a vendor what they can do to help? You might get a solution.
Before attending a conference, you should look over the classes and make selections prior to arriving. It may change once you get to the conference, but it helps keep you on track. Many conferences offer a free scheduling app so that you can select seminars ahead of time.
I like to make a list of issues I am having whether they be technical or cost savings. Many will ask how they can help and I will throw out some of these issues. It is surprising how many times I actually get an answer on how they can help me with an issue. I also make sure I make a list of vendors I want to talk to or vendors to look for that do certain things.
Recently, a friend was at a conference and received an urgent call. He needed to get a nuclear medicine camera de-installed and disposed of in the next five days. Not only did he find someone at the conference who could remove it, but they bought it from the hospital to use for parts instead of having to pay to have it hauled away. It was a win-win situation.
My best advice is to bring your problems and issues to a conference. They might get solved or you may get ideas on how to address them.
See you at the next conference.
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