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Healthcare Technology Management: Changing the Name of the Field to Improve Awareness

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Interdisciplinary Education in Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.690.1 - 25.690.5



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Paper Authors


Barbara L Christe Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Barbara Christe is an Associate Professor and Program Director for biomedical engineering technology at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. Prior to teaching, Christe was a Clinical Engineer at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Conn. She holds a biomedical engineering master’s degree from Rensselaer, Hartford, and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Marquette University. She is actively engaged in the recruitment and retention of students in the BMET field.

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Steven J. Yelton P.E. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

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Steve Yelton is the Chairman of the Electrical Engineering Technologies Department in the Center for Innovative Technologies at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Yelton serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and is also on the Board of Directors of the AAMI Foundation and the Executive Committee of the AAMI Technology Management Council.

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Roger Bowles Texas State Technical College, Waco

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Healthcare Technology Management: Changing the name of the field to improve awarenessMany engineering technology programs throughout the country train graduates who areresponsible for managing the selection, maintenance, and safe use of medical equipment.Employed in every hospital in the country, these highly trained technicians fall under widelyvarying job titles. In addition, academic program titles vary tremendously. The lack of acohesive and unifying discipline name undermines the academic exchange of ideas, challengesconnections to potential employers, and may hinder student recruitment.Industry representatives and educators gathered for a two-day retreat in April, 2011, to explorethe future of this branch of engineering technology that supports medical equipment involved inpatient care. The main goal of the meeting was to identify a discipline name that could be easilyunderstood by the public, in contrast to the current widely-varying titles including biomedicalengineering technology, biomedical equipment technology, clinical engineering, andbioengineering technology (used by ABET). The group determined that a unifying name for thediscipline should be healthcare technology management. This title does not reflect the possiblejob-level names that may be identified or adapted in the future.The new discipline name is accurate, can be understood by healthcare workers, and facilitatesfuture expansion and long-term growth of responsibilities. The name choice offers educators aframework for the establishment of a more cohesive curriculum across institutions, improvedsupport from academic administration, and a well-defined career path for our graduates. Thechange also presents challenges as educators evaluate degree program names currently in use,investigate the perceptions of local industrial and clinical connections, and assess theinstitutional impact of this nomenclature shift.Industry and clinical employers clamor for high-quality college graduates with degrees in thearea of healthcare management technology. The unifying name selection promotes a nationaldiscussion of this branch of engineering technology. In this paper, the authors will share theirexperiences with the naming process, the challenges facing this engineering technologydiscipline, and the future opportunities for the educational programs associated with the field.

Christe, B. L., & Yelton, S. J., & Bowles, R. (2012, June), Healthcare Technology Management: Changing the Name of the Field to Improve Awareness Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21447

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