Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Part 2 of Enterprise IT Integration, Open to Challenges

In Part 1, Demetrius Dillard discussed that became interested in biomedical equipment technology while in high school; however, he took a different path.  He later came back and took up his current path and is now an equipment integration specialist.  

“That’s a great career walk, Demetrius.  What’s on the road ahead for BIOMETs in general?”
“Possibly, I see the career field being absorbed into informatics because it is essential to nursing.  With everything being integrated into EMRs, you think these two modalities should line up to better facilitate those workflows and services for the customers.”
“Did you plan to transition into the integration role or did it just happen?”

Demetrius Dillard lecturing on vendor and student promotion of professional societies

“One hospital I worked for was going into a full blown EMR <electronic medical record> implementation.  They asked how we saw ourselves as BIOMETs in helping to get greater value out if the system.  I was put on as the project manager of the device integration efforts.  So, I started looking at Information Technology certifications.  Later, I was approached by another hospital’s Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO), and Network Director of Clinical Engineering.  The device integration role places you as a liaison Device integration places you as a liaison between clinical engineering and information technology. At my level, day to day responsibilities include managing the device interfaces and the patient gateways.  Manage new device integration requests… database administration, those are among the leadership and management duties as well.  Through these functions, the integrator helps with process improvement, help to streamline workflows, and makes sure the proper information is in the patient’s chart at the bedside. “
“And this should be driven internally?”
“Yes, through collaboration and great communication.  You have to build a great team in an environment that supports freedom to share ideas and trust.  You have to be able to vet what a vendor tells you concerning your environment, third party interfaces…. You may not always know the answers but, as a team, you have to know how to find the answers to get great results without dumping out buckets of cash. 
“Any parting words of advice for those seeking a career path like yours?”
He chuckled.  “Well…” his pitch sharpened a bit center-mass baritone.  “It is a challenge. But…”  His voice dropped right back into his natural scale.  “Don’t be intimidated by the challenges coming your way. The days of just finding a specific category of equipment and settling there to retirement are passing if not passed already.  Tenure doesn’t mean what it once did.  Capability and versatility matter now.  Like it or leave it. You must deal with it one way or another.  The best way is continuing education and taking on more challenging projects.” 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Coming Up, Part 2, Enterprise IT Integration, Open to Challenges

Part 2 Enterprise IT Integration, Open to Challenges will be posted Tuesday.  Part 2 transitions from Demetrius Dillard's career path as a biomedical equipment technician to the challenges faced by equipment integrators.   Read part 1

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Enterprise IT Integration, Open to Challenges

“Understanding healthcare technology and tying it to the business of healthcare, understanding the financial and clinical implications of pushing information across several platforms, that’s what drew me to become an integration specialist and system analyst.”  Demetrius Dillard is a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician with an MBA.  I noticed Demetrius’ post about the activities of an Indiana biomedical equipment society and reached out to him.  I appreciate him agreeing to this interview.
Demetrius Dillard MBA, CBET
The interview with Demetrius is a good follow up to All-Knowing Data Gods, http://assetmanagementhc.blogspot.com/2014/01/all-knowing-data-gods.html.  The nature of his job gives a great understanding of one of the blog’s points: healthcare organizations must build data quality by overcoming technical and business challenges.  This is especially so when pushing information across multiple platforms. 

Leading up to his comment, I had asked, “What got you into Biomedical Equipment Technology?”  His answer reminded me of motives expressed by Dr. Andre’ Creese (CEO of OPYS) and Brendan McSheffrey (CEO of enGauge Inc).

“The first time Biomedical Equipment Technology peaked my interest was when my mother was on the oncology unit at a hospital in South Bend, Indiana.  A clinical engineer responded to a call on an <manufacturer deleted> IV Pump that kept alarming and the nurse could not get it to stop.  I asked him a bunch of questions.  He gave me information on both the clinical engineering path and the biomedical equipment technology path.  He told me that he got enjoyment from being able to work with some on the technology.  I thought it interesting that someone would say that… have fun at work.  I was seventeen years old. To find enjoyment with a job, that peaked my interests.  The engineer went on to say that it was a good feeling to help people in a way that he hadn’t originally thought possible.  So, looking at how my mother was laying in the bed, the nurse was getting frustrated.  My family was getting frustrated.  The engineer was able to come in and diffuse the situation.  That was interesting to me as well.
“But, I didn’t take that walk.  Instead, I got a two-year degree in Architectural Drafting and Design.  I enjoyed the act of drafting.  I still do.  At the time, I saw some quick money in it.  The work just wasn’t what I imagined.  The outcomes of that particular job, I wasn’t happy with them.  One day, I was doing this hand drafting and I’d just had enough.  Being a BIOMET <biomedical equipment technician>, that was the walk in life that I wanted to take.  I got my degree from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, IUPUI - Professor Barbara Christie’s program.  In my first job, I learned that I had to understand the systems and the staff.  My core value was to help people anyway I could.  This first job helped establish leadership by becoming a student mentor for other BMETS. Since then, I have won AAMI GE BMET of the year. I have been on different boards.  I work as a trustee with a couple of different societies.”

Friday, March 14, 2014

Coming Up on Asset Management for Healthcare: Enterprise IT Integration

This blog post will look at the hospital side of device integration into the electronic medical record.  One hospital integrator speaks of his path from architectural drafting to Biomedical Equipment Technician to Device Integrator and the challenges that comes with the integrator position. Publication date changed to  Monday, March 17, 2014.   


Monday, March 10, 2014

Part 2, DUH, AHA, EUREKA – From Idea to Innovation

Summary:  In part 1, we discussed that an idea has a life-cycle.  The blog post introduced Louise Rainone-Musial, the Director of Strategy and Development for PCD works.  We discussed the connection between creativity and the very technical abilities to bring ideas from abstract to valuable innovations.  PCD Works’ methodology is Create, Test, Build, Refine, and Deliver. 
“The work we do at PCD Works is very exciting because, while we are good in the idea phase, we are just as good at the execution phase.  We are good at understanding the value of that innovation.  This means we have to execute to bring those ideas into innovation.  PCD Works is very good at that.” - Louise Rainone-Musial

Begin Part 2
 Louise Rainone-Musial lectures on Open Innovation
“Companies come to us with particular technology roadblocks.  Sometimes they may not have the internal expertise to overcome or leap beyond a problem.  Other times it is bandwidth issues.  There are times they just need an outside perspective because of a linear view.   It has been done this way for thirty years, how do we break out of that? We help them solve complex, challenging problems with immersive ideation.  It’s not, let’s develop a new product.  Immersive Ideation generates a lot of ideas.  Then, our methodology takes the most promising of those ideas that fits within the parameters given.  You go from there and distill it down even further until you have what you are going to be working on.  You put that on a project plan.   You have deliverables, intangibles, and milestones, so your goals will be met at the end.  At PCD Works, we are active across industries: oil and gas, food and beverage, water treatment, environmental services.   
Louise consults with a colleague
 at the 
Product Development and Management
 Association's Annual Conference.
“So, by working across the industries PCD Works can see those connections that help bring value to ideas and the resulting innovation?” I asked.
“Yes.  Because many times there are parallels to be drawn from different industries that one normally would not associate as having any parallels.  For example, both oil and gas and electromechanical medical device can deal with fluid dynamics, pumps, and valves but on a different scale.  Because oil and gas has vast experience with physics and design concerns, many lessons can be brought into the design and solving issues with a particular medical device all brought out in the ideation methodology.  We look for lessons that we can take from one place and apply them successfully in another.  It is amazing how answers can be found by taking this different path to viewing a problem.”
 “For closing remarks, can you help clients to move beyond a corporate thought process?”
“Yes, we created these aha moments that help breakthrough beyond that.  Those moments are really fantastic.  At PCD Works, that’s what we shoot for… every time.   PCD Works is located on an 80 acre campus in east Texas.  We offer a retreat that reinforces our philosophy that the place of innovation is just as important as the people and the methodology that are helping the client.  We provide a campus with facilities that clients need.  We have a prototype shop, a brainstorming studio, a twenty thousand square foot laboratory with mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, physicists, microbiologists, and optics specialists.  We have people working daily on our core services. We bring a different level of problem solving to our customers.”

Click here to read part 1

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Building an Audience, Asset Management for Healthcare Turns Two

Asset Management for Healthcare turns two years old May 7, 2014.  Thanks very much to those who follow Asset Management for Healthcare on blogspot, twitter, and linkedin.  Thanks to those small business owners who allowed me to write about their rise to success.  Thanks to my clients.  I appreciate everyone’s support.  Thanks to my wife and children for their support.  May your blessings and good fortune increase greatly in 2014.  

I made my first blog post on May 7, 2012.  I got about twenty hits.   <Breathing a sigh of relief> Readership has grown tremendously.  Here are a couple of snapshots from linkedin.  Updates on linkedin attract new readers and act as another method of referring traffic to the blog.

Typically, updates are maintained to run no less than 1400 views over the reporting period (note the reporting period in the graphic above).  I show the 1142 because, even with the holiday season, readers continued to follow updates. I understand that these stats can be good, poor, and insignificant all at the same time when compared to a particular company or personality.  The point here is that someone with no name recognition can build an audience and gain name recognition.  Find what works for you. Lead challenging projects.  Do good work.  Market that good work.  Covering Your Assets by Exposing the Butt-Ugly Truth is a great example of how to do that.  You really should check it out just from a storytelling standpoint. Use the link to read the free preview.  Put the subject aside and just read the story,http://www.amazon.com/Covering-Assets-Exposing-Butt-Ugly-ebook/dp/B007OM83GU/.  

Speaking of storytelling, Coming up on Asset Management for Healthcare: Part 2 of DUH, AHA, EUREKA – From Idea to Innovation.  In Part 2, Louise Rainone-Musial and I take a look at the concept of immersive ideation.  Read part 1 here, http://assetmanagementhc.blogspot.com/2014/02/duh-aha-eureka-from-idea-to-innovation.html