Julie Kirst, Editor

With talk swirling around about implementing the electronic health record (EHR), data security, IT, and the use of new technologies that enable clinicians to view medical data from almost anywhere, how do these advances affect the clinical engineering field? As momentum gathers in discussions about the role clinical engineers and biomedical equipment technicians will play regarding EHRs and security, what new advances will benefit the health care technology management profession? Taking advantage of new tools that will help you automate your processes will enable you to work smarter and more efficiently. However, based on our recent polls, it seems that many departments have not yet adopted these technologies.

Our previous poll pointed to a “smart” improvement, and we asked if your employer provides a smartphone for you to use at work. While the majority of respondents (59.6%) said no, 27.8% said yes. A small percentage (close to 3%) said employers were hoping to provide them, and close to 10% said they use their own smartphone with applications (apps) for work.

As mobility in health care expands, so will the need for more tools BMETs and CEs can utilize to quickly do their jobs while on the move. We know GMI currently has an ultrasound technical support and training app, and Ekahau’s Mobile Survey app helps users analyze and monitor their Wi-Fi network, but what specific app would benefit the profession?

Our new poll now broaches this topic as it applies to service documentation. We know clinicians can eliminate manual patient entries with electronic medical records, and our new poll asks: “What technology do you use to eliminate or reduce manual data entry and/or the use of paper scratch sheets to log PMs or repair documentation?” You can access our poll from our home page and log your vote. This represents a perfect example of how departments can embrace progress by using technology available to them to electronically log data.

One of our readers suggested the development of an app such as “Quick-PM” or “Rapid Repair Order.” Could manufacturers develop a service app when they release new equipment? What will it take to advance this area? Visit The Biomeds’ Blog to share your ideas about your “paperless” practices and, if you’re not paperless, how can you get there?

Always looking for new ways to give you important information, we launched a new e-newsletter in January, Vitalsigns, that will arrive in your inbox twice a month. Vitalsigns focuses on test and simulation equipment, so if you didn’t receive yours yet, access it from our home page and sign up for it. You can also read the archives to catch up on anything you missed.

In March, look for our new digital edition of 24×7 and our 24×7 app that will enable you to easily view the magazine on your mobile device and link to extra information, videos, past stories, our advertisers, and more.

Just as we look forward to sharing this exciting advancement with you, I look forward to hearing how your department has applied new digital offerings. The digital progression gives us information at our fingertips in mere seconds, making us both smarter and more efficient.

Julie Kirst