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Health care technology management viewpoints - Clinical engineers speak out

por John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | May 09, 2015
Chuck Demanche
From the May 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

When one of the leaders interviewed for this article was asked about emerging Healthcare Technology Management trends, their response was: “It depends on what you mean by Healthcare Technology Management.”

This insightful statement is the overriding theme of DOTmed’s annual look at the health care technology management sector. The average “break-fix” operation at any hospital now has health care economics, informatics and strategic planning staking out territory in the HTM agenda.

The realization that the performance metrics expected under the Affordable Care Act, such as population health management (getting paid more to keep people healthy rather than when they become ill) and value-based purchasing (hospital and physician pay for performance) are only possible through meaningful information sharing. This has attracted the attention of the hospital C-Suite which is now dedicating large budgets to create electronic health record (EHR) systems needed to succeed.

Almost every very medical device in a hospital now has a computer chip and software. Every clinician who lays hands on a patient needs to have, in real time, what the device knows. It is clear that hospital leadership has elevated HTM to an unprecedented level of strategic importance in the scheme of things, which is reflected in the work our experts do every day to get devices communicating across electronic health records.

A recent study indicates that for nurses, device interconnectivity across the electronic medical record cannot happen fast enough. Results of a Harris Poll-sponsored released in March by the West Health Institute revealed that half of a sample base of nurses report that they have seen a medical error caused by a lack of coordination among medical devices.

It’s no wonder the demand for experts to improve the performance of medical devices remains strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 20 percent increase in hiring over the next three years. The nine experts/leaders interviewed for the 2015 HTM Trends review are:

• Keith Chapman, Director of Clinical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems
• Chuck Demanche, MBA, CRA a career hospital HTM professional and imaging director. He currently works through Soyring Consulting.
• Izabella Gieras, Director, Clinical Technology at Huntington Hospital, Pasadena, CA – Past President, American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE)
• Patrick Harning, Assistant Vice President, Clinical Engineering, Catholic Healthcare Initiatives, Denver, CO

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