IT collaboration enhances clinical engineering effectiveness

Kenneth Maddock, corporate director of biomedical technology services for the Baylor Healthcare System in Dallas shares the same sentiments with me on one particular issue. Biomedical Engineering Department and IT Departments should work hand in hand.

If you noticed (in my profile page) that I am a member of the local Biomedical Engineering Society and Computing Society (well I’m also a member of the Radiographers society and tons more but lets leave it as that), most of my peers found it extremely weird (and rare as I’m a full member of both), especially when I told them I used to give lectures to Biomedical Engineers on Healthcare Informatics.

The reason why I target Biomedical Engineers for Healthcare Informatics evangelism too is because in a hospital / clinical setting, biomedical engineers plays a part in implementing healthcare informatics too!

Think about it, medical equipment are handled by Biomedical Engineers but these days, most medical equipment are PC based devices, the line between the two disciplines are starting to blur rapidly. For imaging equipment, who is responsible for the configuration of DICOM services for medical imaging equipment? Most hospitals rather pay lots of money to vendors to perform the configuration because neither departments would want to do it. (I used to perform the configuration myself and even taught the vendors how to because I got tired of the ‘squabbles’ between Biomedical Engineering Departments and IT)

Alright, back to the post.

Maddock also mentioned some of the goals and outcomes of a collaboration between the two departments, which I totally agrees to.

  • Less confusion for the customer
  • Improved response time for service
  • Better handling of complex calls
  • More effective repairs
  • Better technology planning
  • Reduced costs

Read more of Maddock’s ‘ramblings’ here.

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