By Keri Forsythe-Stephens

One of the best parts of conducting an annual job compensation and satisfaction survey is the insights gleaned from respondents. By surveying more than 1,000 HTM professionals, we learn firsthand where the HTM industry is headed, what issues are the most pressing, and what job concerns keep you up at night. 

Cybersecurity dominated the latter two categories in 2019. Survey respondents continually cited cybersecurity as their biggest source of stress—highlighting the possible patient care implications of a security breach. They also addressed how the rise in connected devices has changed the face of HTM—dramatically.

“From data integration, to cybersecurity, to basic network connectivity, the HTM responsibilities at our organization have grown to incorporate an IT role,” one respondent wrote. “As HTMs, we must work with our IT counterparts to provide a better and safer healthcare environment for the clinical staff, our patients, and ourselves.”

To help readers along the way, February’s issue of 24×7 Magazine focuses on medical device cybersecurity. Two articles pertaining to the issue—“Six Ways to Protect Connected Devices” and “Inside KLAS’ Internet of Medical Things 2019 Report”—explore the magnitude of the problem and provide tangible ways to minimize cyber threats. I encourage you to read both.

Speaking of cybersecurity, TRIMEDX made headlines earlier today when it announced a partnership with cybersecurity education company CyberVista. Under the terms of the deal, TRIMEDX will launch CE Cyber Academy—a training and certification program that, officials say, will equip TRIMEDX personnel with the skills necessary to face cyber threats.

Specifically, CE Cyber Academy graduates will learn best practices about securing sensitive data, as well as how to respond to social engineering attacks. LeAnne Hester, chief marketing officer at TRIMEDX, believes such knowledge will go a long way toward promoting a cybersecure environment.

“By 2025, it is estimated that 68% of medical devices will connect to provider networks making it crucial for health systems to have the ability to accurately track connected medical devices, have accurate information on the operating system, and respond to impacted medical devices,” Hester says. “As a result of this trend, there is a need for clinical engineering and information technology teams to work together in completely different way.”

I couldn’t agree more. And, from the comments received in 2019’s job compensation and satisfaction survey, it seems that you agree, too. But will more companies follow TRIMEDX’s lead and follow suit? E-mail me at [email protected] and let me know what you think.

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