ARLINGTON, Va.―Healthcare technology management (HTM) professionals working in hospitals say their top challenge is the management of medical devices and systems on information technology networks, according to a new survey commissioned by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI).
The survey results point to a changing world for HTM professionals—one in which routine duties, such are preventive maintenance checks, are part of a workday that increasingly contains more sweeping responsibilities such as helping to implement a hospital-wide medical device integration plan.
According to the survey results, the top 10 medical-devices challenges are:
1. Managing devices and systems on the IT network (72 percent)
2. Integrating device data into electronic health records (65 percent)
3. Broken connectors (50 percent)
4. Battery management (50 percent)
5. Alarm management (49 percent)
6. Maintenance of infusion pump systems (48 percent)
7. Cybersecurity of medical devices and systems (47 percent)
8. Setting preventive maintenance strategies (44 percent)
9. Medical device incident reporting and investigations (42 percent)
10. Medical devices brought in by patients (42 percent)
“This annual survey commissioned by AAMI is incredibly helpful in validating and prioritizing the major challenges facing the HTM field," said Steve Campbell, AAMI’s chief marketing and communications officer. “The AAMI leadership and staff are reviewing these results to look for ways in which AAMI could help make a meaningful difference in solving a challenge or problem."
“AAMI committees and volunteers are already taking the lead in working on many of the issues identified as top challenges including connectors, IT integration, and alarm management," Campbell noted, “and we will continue to explore ways to help address with the other issues in the coming year."
AAMI’s list of Top 10 Medical Device Challenges stems from a research survey commissioned by AAMI in April 2012 and conducted by Westat, a research and statistical survey firm. The survey was sent via e-mail to HTM professionals in 1,900 different U.S. hospitals. Respondents were asked to rank how significant 18 specific device-related challenges are to their facility. Those challenges were identified by a task force of AAMI leaders and staff.
There were 188 hospitals who responded. With the results in hand, AAMI editors then interviewed numerous HTM professionals, seeking their input and analysis. A longer article about the survey results was published in AAMI’s peer-reviewed journal, BI&T (Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology).