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Q&A with Robert Jensen, AAMI’s new President and CEO, the first 100 days

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | May 26, 2017
Robert Jensen
From the May 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Rob Jensen is only the third AAMI president and CEO in its 50-year history. When we interviewed him, he had been on the job for about 100 days, so this is really just the tip of the iceberg. But you will find he is already putting his brand on the direction this leading health care technology management organization is going.

HCB News: How did you get involved with AAMI?
I was recruited by AAMI’s national recruiting firm in the middle of last summer. Just before they called about this job, I had told them I was looking for something very mission-oriented. I was seeking a role in a place where the organizational culture was very positive. After a series of interviews by the recruiters, and then the board of directors, I was offered the position. I was also invited to attend the board meeting on Nov. 14, prior to my appointment. That was incredibly helpful and a smart thing to do. It gave me an opportunity to learn about several issues and see how things were done before stepping into my role.

HCB News: Did you have an association background, and if so, are there any differences about AAMI as an association?
I didn’t have a background running associations, but I am a member of HIMSS, so I knew a little about member organizations — how they work, value systems, that type of thing. I also checked with my network of colleagues to learn more about why they engage with their associations. The specific missions differ, but the association world is really a business construct like any other.

HCB News: What things do AAMI members most want from their association?
We had a recent member survey to find that answer. There are personal goals, so they rely on AAMI to help improve professional leadership skills, for example. Through AAMI, they also have access to a forum to engage with colleagues. Professionals who are early in their careers are looking to improve their expertise in management and leadership skills. Many longtime professionals have already built a strong level of expertise, and they’re looking to give back to their association and to their field.

Both long-time and new professionals also look to AAMI to help them improve job-related goals, with the top goal being to improve patient outcomes.

HCB News: What are the key challenges facing your members?
For us and our members, the key challenges all relate to patient safety: the speed in which medical devices are being developed, cybersecurity for medical devices, device and data integration. All of these issues impact patient safety. What to do with that data once it’s gathered is another challenge. If we’re using the data well, treatments can be determined earlier and, of course, that benefits the patient.

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