Inside ASHE - Winter 2012 - (Page 16)

Technology Beyond Fixin How Clinical Engineering Can Keep Pace with Evolving Health Care Technology By Yadin David, EdD, PE, CCE, and the Biomedical Advisory Council membership H ealth care organizations and the people who manage them face tremendous challenges. In 2010, hospital CEOs in the U.S. were asked by the American College of Healthcare Executives to rank their leading concerns. According to the survey results, these were financial challenges, health care reform implementation, government mandates, patient safety and quality, physician-hospital relations, care for the uninsured, patient satisfaction, personnel shortages, technology, capacity, and governance. While every department within a hospital is linked in some way to these critical issues, the common thread among them is their dependence on technology for delivery of services. From the imaging center to the surgical theater, from the intensive care unit to the laboratory, all hospital departments must have safe, reliable, and available technology. This requires planning and execution according to a proven strategy, and the clinical engineering program makes this a daily reality. Clinical/biomedical engineering encompasses comprehensive technology management programs composed of professionals whose capabilities include, but have moved far beyond, the traditional notion of “fixing boxes.” In best-practice organizations, clinical engineering has kept pace as health care delivery has evolved into a complex and interdependent “system of systems,” and it focuses on optimizing the performance of health care technology over its life cycle. The Demands of Greater Functionality The list of features offered by medical devices is rapidly rising. Even the simplest medical devices—such as diagnostic and monitoring systems—consist of numerous subsystem components and increasing functionality at a reasonable cost. What used to be considered independent devices are now part of larger systems. But with rising complexity comes a concern to be addressed: the more complex device hardware, software, and networks become, the more new demands there are for total life-cycle management and support. 16 INSIDE ASHE | WINTER 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Inside ASHE - Winter 2012

Letter from the President
Understanding Defend-in-Place
Now What?
Making Strides
Beyond Fixing Boxes
Implications of the New OR Humidity Range and HEPA Filtration

Inside ASHE - Winter 2012