If you’re attending only one professional conference this year, chances are it’s AAMI—and that’s a good thing. The annual gathering of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation is the largest in the field, with more than 2,200 people in attendance and an Expo Hall big enough to make you the winner of your department’s Fitbit contest. Most importantly, it’s a chance to network in person at a pivotal point in healthcare technology management.

This year’s gathering at the Tampa Convention Center will feature another strong slate of educational offerings, with sessions geared toward the chief concerns of biomeds and clinical engineering professionals. The Expo Hall’s extended hours will leave you more time to chat up vendors about your next purchase. In between, there’s time to meet future employers at the Career Center, brainstorm teaching strategies at the Educators Roundtable, or unwind at the Friday night Welcome Reception.

Whether you’re an old-timer or a first-timer, AAMI 2016 offers something for everyone. We’ve put together a few suggestions below to get you started. (For related coverage, check out 24×7‘s Best Bets and Expo Preview.)

Must Do’s

Saturday, June 4, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Opening General Session: Debunking the Myths of Innovation
Can you bottle innovation? After noteworthy stints at Microsoft developing Internet Explorer and at WordPress serving as a team lead, Scott Berkun now travels the country as a full-time speaker and best-selling author. He’ll discuss how to cultivate a professional environment that stimulates creativity and innovation, starting with establishing trust and strong leadership.

Sunday, June 6, 8:30 – 9:45 AM
Dwight E. Harken Memorial Lecture
Frank Overdyk, MD, of the Roper St Francis Health System chairs the AAMI Foundation’s National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids. He’ll discuss the potential impact continuous electronic vital sign monitoring could have on improving patient outcomes. Nat Sims, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital developed and implemented the first smart drug infusion pumps, and he and his colleagues have pioneered improvements in patient monitoring, patient transport, and error-free intravenous drug delivery systems. Sims will focus on recent advances in infusion therapy safety.

Monday, June 6, 8:30 – 11:00 AM
The Joint Commission Update and Q&A
If his packed annual sessions are any indication, George Mills is the closest thing the HTM field has to a celebrity—and seats will go fast. Arrive early for his update on the Joint Commission’s current plans and top priorities, and find out what these developments could mean for your healthcare facility. The engineering department director will also provide guidance on how to cover your bases for a Joint Commission survey. Stick around for the hour-long question and answer session at 10 AM—Mills excels at giving sane, straightforward advice to biomeds befuddled by hazy regulations.

Saturday, June 4: 3:30 – 4:15 PM
Top 10 Issues Facing HTM: An Open Discussion
Pat Baird, MBA, MS, Baxter Healthcare, and Erin Sparnon, MEng, ECRI Institute, have become pros at moderating this annual, free-flowing discussion of the top pain points in healthcare technology management. Come prepared to vent, share creative solutions, or just listen: Either way, you’ll make friends with your neighbors. Last year’s attendees sat shoulder to shoulder.

Are We There Yet?

Sunday, June 5, Part 1: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Part 2: 2:00 – 4:15 PM
Alarm Management Workshop
Discussions of alarm fatigue have been overshadowed lately by fears related to opoid use and poor sterilization techniques, but that doesn’t mean the issue has gone away. Many hospitals are still struggling to meet the Joint Commission’s 2014 and 2016 National Patient Safety Goals for alarm management. Cochairs Marilyn Neder Flack, Izabella Gieras, and Tobey Clark will helm this session discussing current efforts by AAMI’s National Coalition for Alarm Management Safety and the Healthcare Technology Foundation, followed by case studies from successful facilities.


Saturday, June 4, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
AAMI Awards Ceremony
Stop by to toast your colleagues as the HTM community celebrates its brightest lights. This special reception honoring the year’s top leaders and scholarship winners is open to all registered attendees. Dress business or business casual.

Photo credit: © Tony Bosse | Dreamstime.com