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The Big Picture
Preparing Biomeds
For the Future
Leanne Cordisco, Yadin David
About the Authors
Leanne Cordisco is
the Healthcare IT
Program Manager
at GE Healthcare.
E-mail: leanne.
cordisco@med.
ge.com
Yadin David RE.,
C.C.E.,Ed.D. is prin-
cipal at Biomédical
Engineering Con-
sultants, LLC and
Assistant Professor
at University of Te-
xas School of Public
Health. E-mail: david@biomedeng.com
This past April, a diverse group of 30 industry
professionals met at AAMI headquarters in
Arlington, VA., to discuss the future of the
profession. Among their recommendations:
"Healthcare Technology Management" should
be the official name of the field responsible for
managing the selection, maintenance, and safe
and effective use of medical equipment and of
systems. That recommendation speaks volumes
about the changes happening within the
applied biomédical engineering profession.
This landmark forum was important for both
clinical engineering (CE) and information
technology (IT) professionals, as participants
concluded that the skills traditionally held by
either group are not enough to succeed in the
world of technology-driven healthcare. Undoubt-
edly, the race to meet the requirements of
"meaningful use"—standards that the federal
government wants doctors and hospitals to meet
in the move toward electronic health records—
has acted as one of the catalysts for expanding
our professional skill set Although there are
many initiatives aimed at the education, training,
and credentialing of the new healthcare technol-
ogy management worker, their findings are
remarkably similar. Certainly, it is a blended
CE-IT role, but it goes farther than that The
synergies of combining CE and IT have created a
role that is extremely powerful.
Vision, People, and Strategy
To be successful, an organization needs to
promote training and encourage its people to
pursue their professional development. A
survey on the professional education challenges
in clinical engineering published in 2008'
shows that only 22% of the survey responders
felt that they "always" or "usually" have ade-
quate opportunity for professional
development As technical knowledge half-life
is getting shorter, the survey results underscore
the critical issue of timely education.
Lifelong learning is the norm in IT, and it is
generally regarded as the responsibility of the
employee to keep current with technology. As
convergence of CE and IT continues, we are
likely to see biomeds taking more initiative in
keeping current with technology. It is important
to ask yourself, "If not now, when? If not me,
who?" Through a commitment to training and
education CE and IT stakeholders will have the
skills to achieve their organizational goals.
Many new educational opportunities are
available to assist CE and IT, and this article will
summarize the current activities shaping the
training and education of the healthcare
technology manager and the similarities
between the initiatives.
Healthcare Technology Managers
Healthcare technology managers are shaping the
vision for the future of the profession. The vision
includes, but is not limited to, a continued focus
on safety, risk management, technical support of
medical devices and clinical technologies,
teamwork, and financial stewardship. The vision
also includes management of healthcare
20 Horizons Fall 2011
The Big Picture
technologies that are highly integrated and
interoperable. Healthcare technology manage-
ment professionals will be fully integrated
members within the healthcare delivery team,
and will have significant infiuence in the
management of all healthcare technology. In
addition, the career path will be better defined,
with a supportive educational infrastructure.
Several organizations and groups including
the National Science Foundation, the Clinical
Engineering Division^ of the International
Federation of Biological and Medical Engineer-
ing (IFMBE), and the Healthcare Technology
Foundation (HTF) recognized the need to
expand and refocus the skills of practitioners in
the clinical engineering field and are develop-
ing educational programs. This is taking place
both domestically and globally. The increasing
dependence of the management of patient
conditions on technology places critical
importance on the ability of technology
managers to understand systems performance
in addition to device operation. The newly
adopted standard IEC 80001 is a good example
of the interaction between network manage-
ment, medical device support and risk control.
You cannot effectively separate the components;
rather, you can manage the system.
In the near future, professionals in our field
will be expected to be able to identify opportu-
nities for work-process improvement using
technology integration across healthcare
settings, aligned with the strategic objectives of
the healthcare organization. Therefore, there is
a need to add general knowledge of information
technology principles as applied to healthcare,
effective interpersonal communication,
collaboration, and problem-solving skills. This
professional will have a general understanding
of the core systems and types of technology
used in the delivery of healthcare services.
Knowledge domains include the organizational
environment of healthcare, the technology
environment of healthcare, team leadership,
and technology administration.
'Core Curriculum' Considerations
The impact of education on one's career was
illustrated in an article this past summer in The
New York Times* which found that the greater
your education, the lesser your chances of
unemployment. In healthcare, there are even
higher expectations that workers are adequately
prepared for their job and that they will
continuously maintain their skills. In the
healthcare technology management field, we
still have a way to go to determine basic
uniform education requirements. There are
several degree programs for biomédical
equipment technicians in the United States and
only limited offerings of clinical engineering
programs, but no "core curriculum" has been
standardized or published for these programs.
AAMI's Educators' Roundtable is comprised of
experts in the field of education and has engaged
a group of academicians that lead and/or teach in
BMET programs to help develop a closer
relationship between core curriculum taught and
the fast-changing practice. The group's goal and
focus is to retain the essential aspects of biomédi-
cal equipment technology and IT skills that
historically have served both professions well,
while keeping pace with the evolving roles and
responsibilities of the healthcare technology
manager over the next decade.
Informatics and
Healthcare Technology Training
Certifications and certificates are commonplace
within the IT world, but untu very recently, no
certificate focused on the networking needs of
the healthcare community. CompTIA's
Healthcare IT Technician fills that void.
CompTIA creates and manages IT certifications
across a broad range of subspecialties. In 2010,
CompTIA announced its intention to create
certifications and certificates for the expanding
healthcare IT space and formed a healthcare IT
community. The output ofthat effort is the
CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician certificate.
It covers the knowledge and skills required to
implement, deploy, and support healthcare IT
systems in various clinical settings.
Launched in May 2010, the certificate covers
five knowledge domains: regulatory require-
ments within healthcare, organizational
behaviors within healthcare, IT skills, medical
business operations and the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and
security. Topics in the medical business
operation domain include the purpose and
function of medical devices and healthcare IT
protocols like HL7. CompTIA is accepting new
members into the Healthcare IT Community,
providing an easy way for CE and IT to stay
current with changes in technology.
Healthcare technology
managers are shaping
the vision for the
future of the
profession. The vision
includes, but is not
limited to, a continued
focus on safety, risk
management, technical
support of medical
devices and clinical
technologies, team
work, and financial
stewardship.
Horizons Fall 2011 21
The Big Picture
For More Information
Forum Recommends Unified
Name, Vision for Field
www.aami.org/news/2011/050611.
future.forum.html
Getting Started with IEC 80001
wvvw.aami.org/publications/
books/80001-GS.html
Healthcare Technology
Foundation
http://thehtf org/
ONC HITECH Training Materials
wwwonc-ntdc.org
ONC HITECH Competency Exams
http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server
pt/community/healthit_hhs_gov
competency_examination_pro-
gram_%282%29/1809
CompTIA Healthcare IT Certificate
http://certification.comptia.org/
getCertified/certificates/hittech.aspx
Certified Professional in
Healthcare Information and
Management Systems
www.himss.org/ASP/certification_
cphims.asp
The Office of the National Coordinator for
Health Information Technology (ONC) has
released a set of 20 curriculum components to
the public at no cost. Funded by the $10
million ONC Curriculum Development
Centers Program, these teaching materials
have been in use for the past year by the 82
member colleges of the ONC Community
College Consortia Program. It is expected that
these materials will fill an urgent need in the
educational marketplace.
Designed around the six mobile workforce
roles identified by ONC, the components are
intended to become the building blocks of
health IT courses at community colleges and
universities. In-service training and continuing
education programs at healthcare institutions
and regional extension centers may also benefit
from the use of the components. Each compo-
nent is made up of several units that can be
modified and combined to meet the needs of
instructors as they design their courses. The
components include slide-based lectures with
audio narration and transcripts, learning
activities, self-assessment questions with
answer keys, and instructor manuals.
The components cover topics such as
workflow process redesign, technical support,
networking, usability, and project management,
among others. Three of the components offer a
hands-on lab experience for students supported
by the VistA for Education electronic health
record software package, also available at no cost.
To obtain the materials, go to www.onc-ntdc.org.
ONC HITECH Certificate
For Implementation Support Specialists
Workers in this role provide onsite user support
for the period of time before and during
implementation of health IT systems in clinical
and public health settings. These individuals
will provide support services, above and beyond
what is provided by the vendor, to be sure the
technology functions properly and is configured
to meet the needs of the redesigned practice
workflow. Knowledge domains for this certifi-
cate include Networking and Health
Information Exchange, Configuring EHRs,
Vendor-Specific Systems, Working with Health
IT Systems, Installation and Maintenance of
Health IT Systems, Information and Computer
Science and Terminology in Health Care, and
Public Health Settings.
ONC HITECH Certificate
For Technical/Sofiware Support Staff
Workers in this role will support on an ongoing
basis the technology deployed in clinical and
public health settings. Workers in this role
maintain systems in clinical and public health
settings, including patching and upgrading of
software. They also provide one-on-one
support, in a traditional "help desk" model, to
individual users with questions or problems.
Knowledge domains for this certificate include
Networking and Health Information Exchange,
Special Topics Course on Vendor-Specific
Systems, Information and Computer Science,
Working with Health IT Systems, Installation
and Maintenance of Health IT Systems,
Configuring EHRs, and Professionalism/
Customer Service in the Health Environment.
Summary
Clinical engineering and biomédical equipment
technician (BMET) practices must be supported
by offering updated professional development
programs that expand and prepare practitioners
for new career challenges. These programs
should also promote lifelong participation. CEs
and BMETs need to commit to participate in
such development programs and understand
the need for gaining new competencies.
Educators should strive to maintain their
training program in pace with pending needs of
a changing market. Immediate commencement
of such learning and overcoming the lack of
specific CE/IT competency benchmarking will
place practitioners in a better position to have
an interesting and rewarding career. •
References
1. David Y, laramillo F, Stiefel R. Educational
Challenges in Clinical Engineering Profession:
A Survey, yourno/ of Clinical Engineering.
2008;33(l);154-158.
2. Yahoo! Groups. Clinical Engineering Division
of the IEMBE. Available at: http://health.groups.
yahoo.com/group/CEDGlobal/. Accessed July 2011.
3. The New York Times. Less Than High School
and Falling Behind. )uly 10, 2011, Available at:
www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/07/10/
business/101earnGraphic.html?ref=business.
Accessed July 2011.
22 Horizons Fall 2011
Copyright of Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology is the property of Allen Press Publishing Services Inc.
and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright
holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.

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Preparing Biomeds For the Future

  • 1. The Big Picture Preparing Biomeds For the Future Leanne Cordisco, Yadin David About the Authors Leanne Cordisco is the Healthcare IT Program Manager at GE Healthcare. E-mail: leanne. cordisco@med. ge.com Yadin David RE., C.C.E.,Ed.D. is prin- cipal at Biomédical Engineering Con- sultants, LLC and Assistant Professor at University of Te- xas School of Public Health. E-mail: david@biomedeng.com This past April, a diverse group of 30 industry professionals met at AAMI headquarters in Arlington, VA., to discuss the future of the profession. Among their recommendations: "Healthcare Technology Management" should be the official name of the field responsible for managing the selection, maintenance, and safe and effective use of medical equipment and of systems. That recommendation speaks volumes about the changes happening within the applied biomédical engineering profession. This landmark forum was important for both clinical engineering (CE) and information technology (IT) professionals, as participants concluded that the skills traditionally held by either group are not enough to succeed in the world of technology-driven healthcare. Undoubt- edly, the race to meet the requirements of "meaningful use"—standards that the federal government wants doctors and hospitals to meet in the move toward electronic health records— has acted as one of the catalysts for expanding our professional skill set Although there are many initiatives aimed at the education, training, and credentialing of the new healthcare technol- ogy management worker, their findings are remarkably similar. Certainly, it is a blended CE-IT role, but it goes farther than that The synergies of combining CE and IT have created a role that is extremely powerful. Vision, People, and Strategy To be successful, an organization needs to promote training and encourage its people to pursue their professional development. A survey on the professional education challenges in clinical engineering published in 2008' shows that only 22% of the survey responders felt that they "always" or "usually" have ade- quate opportunity for professional development As technical knowledge half-life is getting shorter, the survey results underscore the critical issue of timely education. Lifelong learning is the norm in IT, and it is generally regarded as the responsibility of the employee to keep current with technology. As convergence of CE and IT continues, we are likely to see biomeds taking more initiative in keeping current with technology. It is important to ask yourself, "If not now, when? If not me, who?" Through a commitment to training and education CE and IT stakeholders will have the skills to achieve their organizational goals. Many new educational opportunities are available to assist CE and IT, and this article will summarize the current activities shaping the training and education of the healthcare technology manager and the similarities between the initiatives. Healthcare Technology Managers Healthcare technology managers are shaping the vision for the future of the profession. The vision includes, but is not limited to, a continued focus on safety, risk management, technical support of medical devices and clinical technologies, teamwork, and financial stewardship. The vision also includes management of healthcare 20 Horizons Fall 2011
  • 2. The Big Picture technologies that are highly integrated and interoperable. Healthcare technology manage- ment professionals will be fully integrated members within the healthcare delivery team, and will have significant infiuence in the management of all healthcare technology. In addition, the career path will be better defined, with a supportive educational infrastructure. Several organizations and groups including the National Science Foundation, the Clinical Engineering Division^ of the International Federation of Biological and Medical Engineer- ing (IFMBE), and the Healthcare Technology Foundation (HTF) recognized the need to expand and refocus the skills of practitioners in the clinical engineering field and are develop- ing educational programs. This is taking place both domestically and globally. The increasing dependence of the management of patient conditions on technology places critical importance on the ability of technology managers to understand systems performance in addition to device operation. The newly adopted standard IEC 80001 is a good example of the interaction between network manage- ment, medical device support and risk control. You cannot effectively separate the components; rather, you can manage the system. In the near future, professionals in our field will be expected to be able to identify opportu- nities for work-process improvement using technology integration across healthcare settings, aligned with the strategic objectives of the healthcare organization. Therefore, there is a need to add general knowledge of information technology principles as applied to healthcare, effective interpersonal communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. This professional will have a general understanding of the core systems and types of technology used in the delivery of healthcare services. Knowledge domains include the organizational environment of healthcare, the technology environment of healthcare, team leadership, and technology administration. 'Core Curriculum' Considerations The impact of education on one's career was illustrated in an article this past summer in The New York Times* which found that the greater your education, the lesser your chances of unemployment. In healthcare, there are even higher expectations that workers are adequately prepared for their job and that they will continuously maintain their skills. In the healthcare technology management field, we still have a way to go to determine basic uniform education requirements. There are several degree programs for biomédical equipment technicians in the United States and only limited offerings of clinical engineering programs, but no "core curriculum" has been standardized or published for these programs. AAMI's Educators' Roundtable is comprised of experts in the field of education and has engaged a group of academicians that lead and/or teach in BMET programs to help develop a closer relationship between core curriculum taught and the fast-changing practice. The group's goal and focus is to retain the essential aspects of biomédi- cal equipment technology and IT skills that historically have served both professions well, while keeping pace with the evolving roles and responsibilities of the healthcare technology manager over the next decade. Informatics and Healthcare Technology Training Certifications and certificates are commonplace within the IT world, but untu very recently, no certificate focused on the networking needs of the healthcare community. CompTIA's Healthcare IT Technician fills that void. CompTIA creates and manages IT certifications across a broad range of subspecialties. In 2010, CompTIA announced its intention to create certifications and certificates for the expanding healthcare IT space and formed a healthcare IT community. The output ofthat effort is the CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician certificate. It covers the knowledge and skills required to implement, deploy, and support healthcare IT systems in various clinical settings. Launched in May 2010, the certificate covers five knowledge domains: regulatory require- ments within healthcare, organizational behaviors within healthcare, IT skills, medical business operations and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and security. Topics in the medical business operation domain include the purpose and function of medical devices and healthcare IT protocols like HL7. CompTIA is accepting new members into the Healthcare IT Community, providing an easy way for CE and IT to stay current with changes in technology. Healthcare technology managers are shaping the vision for the future of the profession. The vision includes, but is not limited to, a continued focus on safety, risk management, technical support of medical devices and clinical technologies, team work, and financial stewardship. Horizons Fall 2011 21
  • 3. The Big Picture For More Information Forum Recommends Unified Name, Vision for Field www.aami.org/news/2011/050611. future.forum.html Getting Started with IEC 80001 wvvw.aami.org/publications/ books/80001-GS.html Healthcare Technology Foundation http://thehtf org/ ONC HITECH Training Materials wwwonc-ntdc.org ONC HITECH Competency Exams http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server pt/community/healthit_hhs_gov competency_examination_pro- gram_%282%29/1809 CompTIA Healthcare IT Certificate http://certification.comptia.org/ getCertified/certificates/hittech.aspx Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems www.himss.org/ASP/certification_ cphims.asp The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released a set of 20 curriculum components to the public at no cost. Funded by the $10 million ONC Curriculum Development Centers Program, these teaching materials have been in use for the past year by the 82 member colleges of the ONC Community College Consortia Program. It is expected that these materials will fill an urgent need in the educational marketplace. Designed around the six mobile workforce roles identified by ONC, the components are intended to become the building blocks of health IT courses at community colleges and universities. In-service training and continuing education programs at healthcare institutions and regional extension centers may also benefit from the use of the components. Each compo- nent is made up of several units that can be modified and combined to meet the needs of instructors as they design their courses. The components include slide-based lectures with audio narration and transcripts, learning activities, self-assessment questions with answer keys, and instructor manuals. The components cover topics such as workflow process redesign, technical support, networking, usability, and project management, among others. Three of the components offer a hands-on lab experience for students supported by the VistA for Education electronic health record software package, also available at no cost. To obtain the materials, go to www.onc-ntdc.org. ONC HITECH Certificate For Implementation Support Specialists Workers in this role provide onsite user support for the period of time before and during implementation of health IT systems in clinical and public health settings. These individuals will provide support services, above and beyond what is provided by the vendor, to be sure the technology functions properly and is configured to meet the needs of the redesigned practice workflow. Knowledge domains for this certifi- cate include Networking and Health Information Exchange, Configuring EHRs, Vendor-Specific Systems, Working with Health IT Systems, Installation and Maintenance of Health IT Systems, Information and Computer Science and Terminology in Health Care, and Public Health Settings. ONC HITECH Certificate For Technical/Sofiware Support Staff Workers in this role will support on an ongoing basis the technology deployed in clinical and public health settings. Workers in this role maintain systems in clinical and public health settings, including patching and upgrading of software. They also provide one-on-one support, in a traditional "help desk" model, to individual users with questions or problems. Knowledge domains for this certificate include Networking and Health Information Exchange, Special Topics Course on Vendor-Specific Systems, Information and Computer Science, Working with Health IT Systems, Installation and Maintenance of Health IT Systems, Configuring EHRs, and Professionalism/ Customer Service in the Health Environment. Summary Clinical engineering and biomédical equipment technician (BMET) practices must be supported by offering updated professional development programs that expand and prepare practitioners for new career challenges. These programs should also promote lifelong participation. CEs and BMETs need to commit to participate in such development programs and understand the need for gaining new competencies. Educators should strive to maintain their training program in pace with pending needs of a changing market. Immediate commencement of such learning and overcoming the lack of specific CE/IT competency benchmarking will place practitioners in a better position to have an interesting and rewarding career. • References 1. David Y, laramillo F, Stiefel R. Educational Challenges in Clinical Engineering Profession: A Survey, yourno/ of Clinical Engineering. 2008;33(l);154-158. 2. Yahoo! Groups. Clinical Engineering Division of the IEMBE. Available at: http://health.groups. yahoo.com/group/CEDGlobal/. Accessed July 2011. 3. The New York Times. Less Than High School and Falling Behind. )uly 10, 2011, Available at: www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/07/10/ business/101earnGraphic.html?ref=business. Accessed July 2011. 22 Horizons Fall 2011
  • 4. Copyright of Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology is the property of Allen Press Publishing Services Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.