By Keri Forsythe-Stephens 

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions (Why should your resolve stick this year when it’s never lasted past January 10th? Isn’t that the definition of insanity?), but I do like the freshness of a new year. It’s like a blank slate. You can put both the highs and lows of the previous year behind you and move forward.

Keri Forsythe-Stephens, Chief Editor

Keri Forsythe-Stephens, Chief Editor

24×7 is also moving forward in January, featuring a fresh new look. Loyal readers need not worry, however: The stellar editorial you enjoyed in 2016—our growing imaging section, columns by industry bigwigs, and in-depth feature articles—will remain the same. The only difference will be our revamped Tools of the Trade section. Instead of focusing on various product segments, the column—retitled Product Showcase—will spotlight one specific modality. (On the docket for January is patient monitoring equipment.)

The January issue of 24×7 also updates readers about JC regulations—providing clarity about a subject that has been rather ambiguous for many in the HTM field. In fact, meeting JC accreditation standards is something 24×7 readers discussed at length in our 2016 HTM Salary Survey.

One anonymous reader complained that dealing with the changes from the JC was the “worst part” of his/her job. Another respondent quipped: The JC, along with CMS, is “requiring clinical engineering departments to adhere to OEM standards for scheduled and unscheduled equipment maintenance; however, they are not requiring OEMs to make training and maintenance documentation available to those of us who are tasked with doing that maintenance or verifying that it was done.”

Clearly, adhering to JC standards is a hot-button issue with readers. But it doesn’t have to be a befuddling one, explains George Mills, director of the Joint Commission’s Department of Engineering. In this month’s cover story, “Keeping Up with the Joint Commission,” Mills provides an example of a JC-compliant alternative equipment maintenance (AEM) program and discusses the revised EP 4 standard.

According to Mills, the new EP verbiage gives organization “full control of the activities and frequencies” in an AEM program. “An advantage to the AEM,” he says, “is the flexibility in managing equipment activities and frequencies.”

Has your facility implemented an AEM program? And, if so, has it been successful? Drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know. And, while you’re at it, let me know what you think about our new look, which debuts in January.

Keri Forsythe-Stephens is chief editor of 24×7.