BI&T November/December 2017
The tale of how medical devices come to be mishandled, smashed, cracked, and corroded is an elaborate and vexing one. In the fast-paced realm of healthcare, medical devices pass through the hands of professionals with a variety of skill sets and priorities—groups that may not have a common understanding of what goes into the manufacture and maintenance of the equipment. To combat the high costs resulting from equipment misuse, healthcare technology management (HTM) professionals should emphasize their role as trusted technical advisors, focusing on the process rather than the people involved.
As HTM evolves to be better represented in organizational leadership, the field will increasingly gain the ability to influence hiring and onboarding to ensure that all new employees start out in a culture that respects the value of medical devices and their role in the organization. Training can have positive impact on curbing misuse, but it needs to be consistent or the effects will be short lived. Manufacturers also play a vital role in curbing misuse by considering how users may interact with the device during its development. The AAMI Foundation’s National Coalition to Promote the Safe Use of Complex Healthcare Technology has assembled a diverse set of stakeholders, with the goal of building a body of best practices that will guide healthcare facilities and clinicians in procuring and using technology.
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