by Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | May 28, 2021
From the May 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Just after the pandemic hit a year ago, the AAMI leadership team began meeting early each morning to coordinate our response. The question was always: “what can we do to help?”
In response, we created a central area of the AAMI website where we house all resources designed to help in the pandemic. We made relevant helpful standards free. We created new standards specifically designed to help during the pandemic. We organized and hosted several webinars to share best practices and experiences. We shared educational content with local educators who were forced to teach virtually.
HCB News: Can you share some of the key initiatives AAMI will be focusing on over the next year?
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We have several major initiatives that will be launched this year. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor has approved a new AAMI apprenticeship program designed to help hospitals standardize and elevate the level of training of entry-level of biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs). Of course, many BMETs are trained at some great schools. Others are trained on the job, and this apprenticeship program is designed to help the latter.
Another major HTM project this year is an overhaul of our HTM Levels Guide, which will be offered for the first time as an online, interactive resource. It’s also an effort to help strengthen and elevate the field.
In September, we will also host the 4th International Clinical Engineering and Health Technology Management Congress in Florida. We organized this event with the Clinical Engineering Division of IFMBE; and it will focus on clinical engineering through an international lens, bringing together leading experts from across the globe.
HCB News: Other than the pandemic, what key challenges do AAMI members face?
The AAMI membership is quite diverse, so the challenges really depend on the member. For our manufacturers, regulatory issues and global harmonization is always very important. They are also very interested in making sure AAMI’s standards development process is efficient. In the HTM area, AAMI continues to step up our efforts to promote the field as a career option and strengthen the recognition of the field to clinicians and the C-suite and resources available to all.
HCB News: Who should consider membership in AAMI?
One of AAMI’s strengths is our diversity of members. That’s essential to everything we do — developing standards and educational events and facilitating network events and information sharing. So anyone engaged in healthcare technology — from researchers, manufacturers, and regulators to clinicians, engineers, technicians and students — should be part of the AAMI community.