By John Noblitt, MAEd, CBET

My last several PrepTalk columns have delved into management issues that will most likely be on the Certified Healthcare Technology Management (CHTM) exam. This article won’t cover specific items that you’ll likely encounter on the exam, but will help you if you’re seeking certification through the AAMI Credentials Institute (ACI).

In late August, I attended the North Carolina Biomedical Association’s (NCBA’s) 38th Symposium in Pinehurst, NC. At the symposium, my fellow board of director members asked me to present a training session on the CHTM exam. When preparing for this presentation, I realized I could only adequately cover one or two topics found on the exam in a three- to four-hour training session. So, I began thinking about the best information I could share with the attendees to help them becoming certified by the ACI. This article will recap the thought process surrounding my recent presentation.

Helpful Study Resources

With the CHTM exam and the Certified Quality System Manager exam being the two most recent certifications offered by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) through the ACI, there’s not nearly as much information available for professionals seeking these certifications. Contrast this with the CBET exam, which has a fairly good study guide available through AAMI’s Web site. (Such information can be purchased here.)

Unfortunately, there is no official study guide available for any other certification exam offered by AAMI and the ACI. So I shared with the attendees of the NCBA symposium some resources that are available through AMMI’s Web site—and this information applies to all certification exams offered by the ACI.

The AAMI Web site has extensive information about all the certification exams, along with a detailed breakdown of each exam and what percentage of each section the exam will cover. For example, you will find that the CHTM exam is a 100-question test, with two hours allotted to complete it; to pass, you must score 72 out of 100. The sections of this exam and the breakdowns are as follows: financial management: 19%; risk management: 12%; operations management: 46%; human resources: 12%; and education and training: 11%. AAMI’s Web site also gives certification-seekers some topics in each area, such as generally accepted accounting principles, which I covered extensively in August’s edition of PrepTalk.

This extremely valuable information can be found here—and the ACI refers to this document as the Certification Candidate Handbook. I would suggest that no matter which certification you are attempting to obtain, you access information at this resource first. This handbook covers not only the exams and what you should likely study, but all aspects of the exam process, including how to register for the exam, the appeals process, and when you will get your results.

Using these links to other resources is helpful, but it can be a daunting task. For example, the CHTM resource gives a link to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which takes you to the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour division. Here, you will find many other links to numerous resources about the FMLA. Another example of these resource links is a link to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-Medical Equipment Standards. This link takes you to the Department of Health and Human Services’ page—and that document spans 24 pages with more than 30 links to other Web resources.

Expanding the Data Search

So, what exactly should you learn from these links and why does AAMI not provide more specific information? Well, as I said earlier, the handbook has a great deal of information—and one sentence states the following: “It is considered a conflict of interest for any certifying organization or commission to help individuals attain the credential it issues. The ACI does not sponsor or endorse any refresher course, study guides, or study materials of any kind.”

As such, during my presentation I advised NCBA attendees to consult resources such as 24×7 magazine in their search for information. I explained that they should be able to find an article written by an industry expert, such as Pat Lynch (who writes the bimonthly column, The LynchPin, or Matthew Baretich), which will cover information specific to the health care technology management field. When writing about a topic found in the Certification Handbook, these industry experts will likely narrow the information needed for certification-seekers.

In closing, if you or someone you know is already certified in any area, be sure to check out the Certification Handbook since some of the rules for maintaining certification will change in January. For ease of discovery, all the changes are in red text.

As always, I hope you find this information useful in your pursuit to become CHTM-certified.

John Noblitt, MAEd, CBET, is the BMET program director at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Hudson, NC. For more information, contact chief editor Keri Forsythe-Stephens at kstephens@anthemsystems.com.