Are you RICH? Characteristics of a Good Biomed Tech

February 1, 2020

Categories: AAMI News, Early Career, Health Technology Management, HTM Professionals, Individual Contributor, Manager or Director

I have been working in healthcare technology for many years. I was recently thinking of the common traits that define a good health technology professional. The best ones, I’ve found, follow the principles of RICH:


If they need to find a part or a way to repair a piece of equipment, they will find a way to do it. Good healthcare technology professionals scour trade magazines and the Internet for parts, and I’ve even seen them watch YouTube videos on how to repair a laser printer. They will post on biomed forums looking for answers. They will reach out to their colleagues working at competing hospitals for the answer. Bottom line: They will get the job done.


Health technology professionals are curious. Give them a problem that they don’t understand, and they will research it until they know everything about it. That includes taking online classes, accessing information technology resources online, and even getting a certification. They will rise to meet any challenge.


I’ve seen biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) run down to the local electronics store to get a new hard drive so they can get a device up and running as soon as possible. I’ve seen them find replacement equipment when they were told none was available. I’ve seen them stay in the operating room to manually keep a pneumatic bladder working. A focus on the customer can mean anything from helping a visitor find their way in the hospital to keeping equipment running in an emergency or even helping to evacuate patients during a natural disaster.


It doesn’t matter if a BMET works for the original equipment manufacturer or a third party, they’re always willing to help in-house staff with their knowledge. That’s why they enter the field. They want to be of service.

When one health technology professional is called into the operating room, they often ask a new BMET in the shop to come with them to learn. Some even go on mission trips to help install and train individuals on donated medical equipment.

These principles are why this field is so exciting and rewarding to me—so many of us truly are RICH with knowledge, expertise, and the motivation to do a great job.

A Template for Excellent Customer Service

David Braeutigam and his colleagues used the Studer Group’s AIDET communication framework for healthcare professionals to improve their department’s customer service. The acronym AIDET stands for:

  • Acknowledge. Greet the person by name, make eye contact, smile, and acknowledge others in the room.
  • Introduce. Give the person your name and describe your skill set, professional certification, and experience.
  • Duration. Provide the person with an estimated time for task completion, identification of next steps, and/or a progress update.
  • Explanation. Describe step-by-step what the person can expect to happen next, answer questions, and let the person know how they can contact you.
  • Thank you. Express gratitude to the person for their communication and cooperation and ask if they need help with anything else.