AAMI Selects 'Best of' Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

April 9, 2019

Contact:  Gavin Stern, gstern@aami.org, 1-703-647-2781

A group of healthcare technology management (HTM) leaders, a team of researchers from B. Braun Medical Inc., and a healthcare cybersecurity expert have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to AAMI’s peer-reviewed journal, BI&T (Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology).

The BI&T Editorial Board selected winners for Best Article, Best  Research Paper, and Best Commentary. “The selection of these three ‘best of’ articles by the Editorial Board demonstrates the importance of the issues described, namely that developing an alternate equipment maintenance, or AEM, program can save HTM departments time and labor costs; that establishing standardized metrics for measuring and reporting medical device alarm data is vital to combating alarm fatigue; and that cyberthreats—and the resulting cybersecurity response from healthcare—have grown exponentially in recent years,” said Managing Editor Joe Sheffer.

Separately, AAMI’s Technology Management Council (TMC) selected the winner of this year’s Bright Ideas Award, which goes to an HTM department.

All of the winners will be formally recognized during a ceremony on June 8 at the AAMI Exchange, the association’s growing and revamped annual conference and expo. The conference will run June 7–10 in Cleveland, OH.

Best Article

"A Rational Approach to Efficient Equipment Maintenance, Part 1: A Simple, Basic AEM Program", which was published in the July/August 2018 issue of BI&T, was named this year’s Best Article. In this feature, the authors provided a blueprint that healthcare facilities can use to establish a basic AEM program, which can promote greater efficiency and more effective use of staff time.

The article was authored by retired clinical engineer Malcolm Ridgway; Matthew Baretich, president of Baretich Engineering based in Fort Collins, CO; Matthew Clark, a clinical engineer at Advocate Health in Downers Grove, IL; Stephen Grimes, managing partner at Strategic Health Care Technology Associates in Swampscott, MA; Bhaskar Iduri, director of clinical engineering and quality assurance at Renovo Solutions in Irvine, CA; Michael W. Lane, director of Technical Services Partnership at the University of Vermont; Alan Lipschultz, president of HealthCare Technology Consulting in North Bethesda, MD; and Nancy Lum, clinical engineer project manager at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Best Research Paper

This honor was awarded to a group of researchers at B. Braun Medical Inc. who were focused on establishing standardized metrics, operational definitions, and processes for measuring and reporting alarm data in order to better understand and identify key issues related to infusion pump alarms. In their paper, "Frequency and Duration of Infusion Pump Alarms: Establishing National Benchmarks," which was published in the November/December 2018 issue of BI&T, Rachel R. Vitoux, Catherine Schuster, Kevin R. Glover, and Mark Dekker assessed the frequency and duration of alarms across 29 hospitals to establish a baseline of infusion pump alarm types and frequencies. Their results serve as a key piece of the puzzle for reducing alarm burden in the healthcare environment.

Best Commentary

The BI&T Editorial Board selected Axel Wirth’s November/December 2018 Cyberinsights column, "Keeping Track of All the Moving Pieces," as this year’s Best Commentary. In his column, Wirth, distinguished technical architect at Symantec, illustrated the many ways in which healthcare has rapidly bolstered its efforts to combat the rising tide of cyberthreats. Wirth also noted that healthcare has a great deal of work left to do to strengthen its cybersecurity posture, even as he lauded guidance from the Food and Drug Administration and other organizations to address device vulnerabilities, improve incident planning and response, and enhance the security of the Internet of Things.

Bright Ideas Award

In each issue of BI&T, AAMI highlights how one organization implemented a novel approach to tackling a specific healthcare technology management (HTM)-related problem or established a new process that contributed to improved patient care. The “bright ideas” featured in this section are selected by AAMI’s TMC. The TMC then chooses one department to receive its annual Bright Ideas Award.

This year’s award went to the biomedical engineering technology program at St. Philips College in San Antonio, TX, for their efforts to develop the next generation of HTM professionals. In an article published in the September/October 2018 issue of BI&T, program head Alberto Vasquez explained how he utilized St. Philip’s human patient simulation center to encourage his HTM students to work and learn side-by-side with clinical students and improve their communication skills. “This way, when they get out to the hospitals, our HTM students are comfortable talking to nurses, and the nurses are comfortable talking to our technicians,” Vasquez said. “That’s so different from what I used to see in hospitals—not just an unwillingness to communicate with one another, but a fear both sides have of saying the wrong thing.”

AAMI (www.aami.org) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1967. It is a diverse community of more than 9,000 healthcare technology professionals united by one important mission—supporting the healthcare community in the development, management, and use of safe and effective health technology. AAMI is the primary source of consensus standards, both national and international, for the medical device industry, as well as practical information, support, and guidance for health technology and sterilization professionals.