Julie Kirst

Julie Kirst, Editor

Traditionally, the phrase “It’s Show Time” conjures up an atmosphere of excitement as performers prepare to display their talents and the audience waits in anticipation for the new offerings. While the pressure of getting it all exactly right in front of a live audience may not exist at a trade show, the preparation, presentation, and expectation still carry the same weight: Vendors create enticing displays to introduce new products or showcase existing lines, and attendees peruse the exhibit hall in search of the perfect products.

As members of the health care technology management field descend upon Charlotte, NC, for the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s (AAMI’s) annual symposium from June 2 through 4, exhibitors, presenters, and attendees will all gather to expand their knowledge base, meet up with old friends, and make new ones. Discussions, debates, and laughter, along with serious learning, will make this a successful show.

Anticipating approximately 1,500 attendees, AAMI 2012 will feature an exhibit hall with more than 150 equipment manufacturers and service providers. It presents the perfect opportunity to get one-on-one time with vendors to find out about new products and services, talk about your concerns, and find out how to get the most out of what they offer.

AAMI has once again broken the educational sessions into categories so that you can easily focus on areas of most importance to you. These include Patient Safety, CE-IT Connectivity, Imaging, Wireless Challenges, Business & Management, and The Big Picture. Trying to find a way to reduce risks with infusion pumps? Getting started with the electronic medical record and not sure what to do? Working to get a grip on elusive wireless issues? Unsure about the impact of meaningful use on the profession? The educational sessions will address these topics and more.

One topic sure to generate a lot of conversation pertains to the new US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) maintenance rule. Make it a point to catch Matthew F. Baretich’s, PE, PhD, CCE, of Baretich Engineering Inc, Fort Collins, Colo, presentation, “Understanding the Impact of the New CMS Maintenance Rule.”

The CMS ruling, which 24×7 covered, led AAMI and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering—a division of the American Hospital Association—to unite in an effort to find an alternative solution to the federal directive on maintenance schedules for medical equipment. Matt will provide background and an update on the December 2011 announcement from the CMS regarding manufacturer-recommended maintenance frequencies and procedures, and how these requirements will impact your work. Keep your ear to the ground and stay informed about this topic.

If this happens to be your first trade show, or if you have attended before but don’t quite know how to manage your time to get the most out of it, have a look at our November 2011 article, “Make the Most of Your Trade Show Attendance,” written by Michael McMahon.

In the article, he offers sage advice, saying, “Medical device trade shows serve as an excellent setting to connect equipment, solutions, and/or service providers with potential clients. Yet with the size and variety offered by trade shows these days, it’s easy to walk in and wander through without direction. To make the most of your attendance, however, not to mention offer your organization a reason to send you to future trade shows, set out with the goal of bringing something back to your organization—something like a new strategy or information about a new product. Doing so will certainly prove both the value of your attendance at the trade show and your value to your organization.”

If you attend AAMI, make sure to stop by 24×7‘s booth and say hello.

Julie Kirst