HTM Frequently Asked Questions
What are the core functions of HTM professionals?
HTM professionals select and purchase safe and effective medical equipment; maintain medical equipment and systems; contribute to improved patient outcomes; educate clinical staff on the safe and proper use of equipment; and control healthcare costs.
What other hospital departments interface with HTM?
HTM works collaboratively with many other departments within a healthcare organization. This includes, but is not limited to, clinical departments, Materials Management, Facilities Management, and IT.
What is the usual reporting chain for HTM professionals within a hospital setting?
Reporting structures vary widely. In many cases, the HTM department reports to the leaders of Facilities Management, Information Technology, or directly to Administrative Management within the organization. However, a successful HTM program may exist anywhere within the organizational structure, so long as there are resources in place to support the program.
What is a biomedical equipment technician (BMET)?
Most BMETs work in healthcare facilities. BMETs are responsible for keeping equipment in working order. They're also the ones called upon to troubleshoot when equipment is not functioning properly. BMETs usually hold an associate's or bachelor's degree in a field such as biomedical equipment technology.
BMETs enjoy the challenge of fixing mechanical devices. And as today’s medical devices become more and more integrated with computer technology, BMETs have more opportunities to work with computers and software than ever before. BMETs also need to be familiar with both electrical and electronic technology. They install, inspect, calibrate, service, and repair medical equipment of all sorts and sizes. From CT scanners to wheelchairs, from infusion pumps to heart monitors, BMETs keep important medical devices up and running.
Are Information Technology (IT) professionals a part of HTM?
The relationship between IT and HTM varies depending on the employer’s organizational structure. IT professionals focus on the technologies that store, share, and analyze health information (i.e., computer hardware, software). As such, IT professionals must collaborate with HTM professionals to ensure seamless handoff of work streams as they relate to devices and systems.
What impact does the name “Healthcare Technology Management” have on job titles?
This umbrella name of the field does not affect individual job titles. Similar to other fields, such as human resources (HR) , nursing, or information technology (IT), the HTM field is composed of a variety of professionals, including biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs), clinical engineers, imaging equipment specialists, laboratory equipment specialists, and others.
Does the term “Management” in Healthcare Technology Management include those who do not manage people?
Yes. “Healthcare Technology Management” provides a professional identity for ALL who make up this community of specialists. The term “Management” in “Healthcare Technology Management” refers to the management of technology, rather than the management of people. HTM professionals are responsible for the lifecycle management of medical technologies, which include a wide breadth of responsibilities such as activities that control costs, provide clinical support, and improve patient safety and outcomes.