One of the real pleasures of being the editor of 24×7 is the interaction I have with members of the healthcare technology management community. Some of the exchanges ultimately end up in print or online, but a lot don’t. So in an effort to rectify that situation, I have resolved to share some of those interactions on this blog from time to time.
What’s Bugging You?
Some of the issues I hear about from readers are true hot button topics that are on the minds of everyone in the community. Others are rather more idiosyncratic and personal. But they are, to me at least, uniformly engaging. Here are a few of the more interesting comments I’ve received in the past few months.
The Right to Repair
Nothing seems to rile biomeds more than being told they aren’t allowed to fix something. That is, after all, their reason for existence. So when manufacturers put roadblocks in the way of repairing their equipment, expect a bit of friction. As one reader recently told me, “I am a big proponent of the right to repair for our industry. Yet much of HTM leadership seems to treat this as a hot-potato or third-rail kind of issue. ACCE and AAMI should be all aboard with this and make it a marquee issue, as it speaks to the survival of our industry as we know it. “
Another reader wrote that he is particularly irked by OEMs who make a policy of “forbidding the posting of user and service manuals.” Referring to the well-known website, Frank’s Hospital Workshop, he noted that “a browsing of various categories of equipment service manuals shows some manufacturers who have requested that their manuals be removed.” He suggests that one way around this policy that doesn’t violate copyrights is for biomeds to post their own PM procedures on the site. As he says, “The experience of the biomed is often a welcome addition to the manufacturer’s procedures.” On the other hand, he notes, “this takes a writing effort that’s not for everyone.”
A second perennial obsession for our readers is how much—or how little—they are paid. Of the many emails I’ve received since we published our annual salary survey results last December, the most plaintive had the subject line, “Am I the Lowest-Paid BMET II in the United States?”
It turns out he wasn’t—but just barely.
Another reader asked a question that I’ve heard several times since we published our data. In our most recent report, we reduced the number of regions for which we reported average salaries from nine geographic areas to four. He rightly pointed out that this can skew the averages for certain areas with lower costs of living, such as the mountain states that are now included with the West Coast states.
As I told him, though, the response to our survey from less populous regions is so low that the averages are not statistically reliable. So we’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.
We’ll make every effort to increase our response from those areas in our next survey. And as I told my correspondent, if you have any ideas on how to do so, please let me know.
The Alphabet Soup Syndrome
It’s appropriate in an issue for which the cover story is about certification to note one reader’s recent lament about the abundance of initialisms in our community and this magazine. Mike Lane, Esq, CBET BAMF, of Las Vegas, NV, seems to think this is some kind of problem:
Is it a man thing (longer is better)? Are there rules to what you can put behind your name? In your magazine alone I found these credentials listed : MSETM / AAMI COO / MS / CCE / FACCE / FASHE / FHIMSS / MSBE / CBET / CRES / CLRS / PE / PHD and my favorite (thanks Pat) HIT Pro/PW.
If you are proud of your long string of initials, don’t take it personally. As Mike adds, “It’s all in jest and these people need to be recognized for their educational efforts. So keep up the good work and may the most credentialed person win!”
A Secret Trekkie
Reader and BMET of the Year for 2005 Glen Wolfe runs a successful ISO in Illinois, but his secret passions are Star Trek and filmmaking. He has not only participated in producing several Star Trek fan films, but has invested in an Oklahoma City studio dedicated to helping fans make their own Star Trek Episodes. If you’re a Trekkie, you may want to check it out at starbasestudios.net.
Have you got a thought you want to share with me and your fellow readers? Let me know: Submit your comments below.