In the February issue of 24×7, Larry Sheppard, director of FirstCall Clinical Technology Services at East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System, Tyler, Tex, addresses the changing health care landscape and how biomedical engineering departments fit into their new roles. One comment he made, however, really stuck out to me:

Demonstrate our value. Look good, be responsive, be reassuring through courtesy and competence, be understanding, and, most of all, be reliable. Do what you said you would do by making a promise to your customer that you are driving the solution. This will create an internal reference that validates your value within the organization and makes you a person that any manager would want to invest in

This quote paints the picture of a department that, despite its integral role in the health care delivery process, still has to prove its worth to the administration. This sentiment was echoed by an interviewee for the upcoming Focus On feature in the March issue of 24×7 on BMET interns.

Interns show growth and that we can speak to a higher level in the hospital hierarchy. There are so many things that you can do to enhance how you’re perceived in a hospital. For me, getting interns was the same as finance or nursing getting students. There’s that student component that, to me, is really important in terms of showing what you’re capable of doing. We’re not perceived as just a maintenance department. There’s a higher function.

It’s odd that clinical engineering and biomedical engineering departments still need to prove their worth to hospital administration despite being such an important part of the process. However, it is a reality for many departments and something that numerous managers have to deal with.

Do you have any strategies for improving the administration’s perception of your departments?