1967_AAMI 4 founders 500

First AAMI Executive Director John Post and founders Warren (Zeph) Lane, Arthur C. Beall, and Bob Allen at an early AAMI meeting

This article will appear with 24×7’s June 2016 anniversary coverage.

Every field has key moments that drive its evolution, turning points when its members coalesce around a shared vision, when onlookers say, “Aha—something important is happening here.”

Below are some of the events that have shaped the history of healthcare technology management.

Edwin L. Crosby, MD, first director of the JCAH

Edwin L. Crosby, MD, first director of the JCAH

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The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals is established to promote hospital reform.

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) is founded by a group of physicians, inventors, and manufacturers to generate cooperation across the medical device industry.

1968_ECRI founder Joel Nobel 500

ECRI founder Joel J. Nobel, MD, with his mobile resuscitation system

The Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI) evaluates 18 brands of manually operated resuscitators and finds nine to be ineffective, launching ECRI as an independent evaluator of medical devices. The first issue of Health Devices is published 3 years later.

Robert S. Ledley, inventor of the whole-body computed tomography (CT) scanner, begins selling the machines for $300,000 each (about $1.5 million in today’s dollars).

Yadin David, first ACCE president, modeling an ACCE T-shirt and watch.

Yadin David, first ACCE president, modeling an ACCE T-shirt and watch.

US Congress gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to review and approve medical devices before they go to market.

The first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) body exam is performed on a human being.

A small group of clinical engineers meets in Houston to form a new professional society, the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE).

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An early edition of 24×7

24×7, a new magazine devoted to technical service and support professionals in healthcare, prints its first issue.

The FDA announces its intent to regulate refurbishers, rebuilders, reconditioners, servicers, and remarketers of medical devices. The agency shelves the plan after finding little evidence of threat to public safety.

1999_To Err Is Human1999
The Institute of Medicine publishes To Err is Human, reporting that between 44,000 and 98,000 patients die each year in the United States from preventable medical errors.

The Joint Commission establishes its National Patient Safety Goals program.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services bans equipment maintenance procedures and frequencies that deviate from manufacturer recommendations, causing an outcry among biomeds.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allows hospitals to adopt alternate equipment maintenance programs for most medical equipment, excluding lasers, imaging systems, and new devices.

The FDA issues a request for comments on the refurbishment, reconditioning, rebuilding, remarketing, remanufacturing, and servicing of medical devices performed by manufacturers and third parties, including healthcare organizations.

The 51st AAMI Conference & Expo is held in Tampa, Fla.