Frequently Asked Questions
Job titles vary within HTM, and as the profession evolves, so will the titles, roles, and job descriptions. However, common titles within HTM include: clinical engineer, biomedical equipment technician, clinical equipment specialist, biomedical equipment specialist, laboratory technician, and imaging technician.
What do they do?
- Plan, select, manage, and repair medical devices and technologies
- Ensure a high standard of performance of medical devices and systems through preventive maintenance (PM) or corrective maintenance (CM) checks or quality inspections
- Provide clinical staff with on-call technical assistance and device training
- Help facilities provide safe, cost-effective, and well-maintained healthcare technologies that improve clinical outcomes
How does HTM interact with Information Technology?
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). HTM professionals focus on clinical technology. IT and HTM professionals must work with one another on network management, wireless strategies, device integration, systems planning, and the like.
What impact does the name of the HTM profession have on job titles?
The name of the profession—HTM—does not affect individual job titles. Similar to other professions, such as Nursing, Human Resources (HR) or Information Technology (IT), the HTM profession is comprised of specialists in different fields within HTM. Efforts are underway by HTM leaders and AAMI to standardize job descriptions and job titles for HTM professionals. Ultimately, it is the employer who establishes job titles.
Does the term “Management” in HTM include those who do not manage people?
- Yes. The name of the profession—HTM—provides a professional identity for ALL of the members who make up this community of specialists.
- The term “Management” in “Healthcare Technology Management” refers to the management of technologies rather than the management of people.
- HTM professionals are responsible for the lifecycle management of medical technologies, which includes a wide breadth of responsibilities such as activities that control costs, provide clinical support, and improve patient safety and outcomes.
Is the HTM name new? If so, how is it being shared with others?
Yes, it’s new. Many individuals and organizations are helping to communicate the HTM name. This web site is one way the name is being communicated with others.
HTM in a Hospital Setting
What are the core functions of HTM professionals in a hospital setting?
- Selecting safe and effective medical equipment
- Maintaining medical equipment and systems
- Improving patient outcomes
- Educating clinical staff
- Controlling 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, administration, materials management, risk management, quality& patient safety, 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, IT, or administration. A successful HTM program may exist anywhere within the organizational structure, so long as there are resources and a strong partnership to support all that a good HTM program can do.