For Immediate Release
June 20, 2018
Amber Logan, 703-253-8262

Australian Clinical Engineering Department Wins HTM Week Celebration Contest

CE Department Royal Melbourne HospitalMembers of the Clinical Engineering Department at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. From left to right, top row: Leschelle Tana, Simon Cowley, David Lierkamp, Nikki Donaldson, Ashrith Kumar, and Shamalka Fernando; bottom row: Rachel Swain, Rebecca Bailey, Jack Davie (retired), Lakshmi Thiru, and Doris Forde.

ICU PodFrom left to right: Simon Cowley, Nikki Donaldson, Emma Strachan, Marina Alfons, and Ashrith Kumar.

The Clinical Engineering Department at The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) in Victoria, Australia has been named the winner of this year’s best celebration contest for Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) Week for its unique, educational, and fun combination of events.

Although there were a number of dynamic submissions for the contest, the events at RMH really stood out to AAMI’s Vice President of HTM Danielle McGeary. “I just kept thinking, ‘I wish I was there!’ when I was reading their submission,” McGeary said.

HTM Week, which took place May 20–26, is designed to promote awareness of, and appreciation for, the critical work of biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs), biomedical engineers (BMEs), clinical engineers, and other HTM professionals—something that often goes unacknowledged, even by those working in the field.

“It is easy to fall into the routine that there is not enough time to celebrate the work of BMEs and BMETs with competing priorities from our healthcare technology management efforts,” said Simon Cowley, acting manager of RMH’s Clinical Engineering Department. “I have wanted to run events for HTM Week for a number of years. This year, a prior conference presentation and a great idea for a pump challenge from one of our BMEs aligned well with HTM Week.”

Medical Device Cybersecurity

Cowley’s presentation, which he originally gave at the Society for Medical & Biological Engineering (NSW) Conference in March, focused on common medical device vulnerabilities and effective cybersecurity controls. The event attracted about 40 attendees, including HTM and IT professionals from multiple hospitals and government officials.

“Although I have run my medical device cybersecurity presentation multiple times, I was most pleased by the turnout and wide interest of the HTM Week medical device cybersecurity presentation,” Cowley said. “It is good to see that along with my team and IT colleagues at RMH, I am on the right path with highlighting the risk of cybersecurity for medical devices.”

Syringe Pump Challenge

RMH’s second event, the brainchild of Clinical Engineering Supervisor Emma Strachan, pitted three HTM professionals against each other to see who could rebuild an Asena PK syringe pump the fastest and get it to work. (All the pumps used in the competition had been decommissioned and were awaiting disposal—they were not returned to clinical use.)

Marina Alfons, an RMH biomedical engineer, was declared the winner with a time of one hour and two minutes. Although the other competitors assembled their pumps faster, Alfons was the only one to successfully power up and start an infusion with a 50 mL syringe, according to Cowley.

A Winning Celebration

Cowley and his team were “ecstatic” when they found out they had won AAMI’s contest, especially since HTM Week is not widely known in Australia.

“We did not know our small activities at RMH would have such far-reaching interest,” Cowley said.

AAMI ( is a nonprofit organization founded in 1967. It is a diverse community of approximately 7,000 healthcare technology professionals united by one important mission—supporting the healthcare community in the development, management, and use of safe and effective healthcare technology.