Biomeds have long known that medical devices that appear to be broken often malfunction due to user error. Now, the AAMI Foundation is spearheading efforts to provide nurses and other healthcare staff with device training to ensure proper use of healthcare technology.

The Foundation recently hosted an Industry Council meeting addressing the need for high-level support of staff who work with medical equipment and devices at various health organizations. The meeting attendees, including representatives from BD (formerly CareFusion), Connexall, Hospira, Masimo, and Medtronic, as well as patient safety advocates and healthcare professionals, discussed the current state of training, challenges, and future solutions.

According to the Council, nursing is a very “device-heavy” job, and in recent years devices have become more interconnected and complex, yet most nurse training programs and health organizations still use outdated training models. Some of the challenges discussed by the Council included factors such as time constraints on overloaded nurses who are often asked to spend more time with patients, and the feasibility of training them how to operate a wide range of ever-changing devices. Some of the solutions touched on included breaking information or training sessions into small chunks to help address the issues of learning new things in a limited time.The Council concluded it also is necessary for new devices to be more intuitive and easier to use, ensuring greater safety with less training.

The AAMI Foundation says it will continue to investigate training of staff in healthcare technologies and may establish a national coalition to address the issues raised during this first Industry Council meeting. For more information about the issues discussed, see the news announcement on the AAMI website.