With the lines of clinical engineering and information technology (IT) increasingly blurred, professionals who exhibit hybrid healthcare technology management (HTM)/IT skills set themselves up for success, according to a symposium held at last week’s Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Annual Conference & Expo in Tampa, Fla. AAMI Board of Directors member Ken Maddock moderated the Medtronic-sponsored session.

During the session, AAMI attendees explored how to bridge HTM and IT—a topic Maddock has researched heavily as the lead of AAMI’s HTM/IT Bridge Role Task Force, which was established last year. “IT and the business are looking for the help of HTM,” Maddock told AAMI attendees. “This is a chance for HTM to solidify our value to the organization while meeting a big need.”

To address this need, the HTM/IT Bridge Role Task Force is developing a checklist to lessen the learning curve for HTM professionals—a tool slated for completion this fall. Key areas of focus include process design and improvement, project management, and changing how the C-suite views the biomed department. AAMI is also seeking to transform the culture of clinical engineering departments—taking them from a “biomed-shop mentality” to being an organization’s “medical equipment technology experts.”

“There are lots of people in the country who have stumbled into being the IT expert in their HTM department,” Maddock said. “We’re trying to formalize it a bit.”

For more information about the hybrid HTM/IT role, visit the AAMI Web site.