By Patrick Lynch, CBET, CCE, CHTM, CPHIMS, FACCE

It’s been a while, but here is the latest information regarding our efforts to form a national HTM organization.

First, a little background: We currently have many associations for HTM professionals. Almost every state has one; some even have more than one, such as Texas, Florida, California, and Missouri. There are even some national organizations that specialize in serving the HTM professional. AAMI and the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE) come to mind.

But there is a gaping hole in the services delivered by each of these organizations. Not a single one of them provides advocacy. While companies and vendors have stated their positions on various subjects, no organization has stepped up and unashamedly represented the HTM workers and our profession as a whole.

Here is where a new organization can become valuable. Pushing for legislative rights for independent repairers, advocating for increases in pay for HTMs, and representing us at FDA meetings—these are just a few of the unmet needs of the biomed.

The format and structure of such an organization have not been determined yet. Still, we have explored starting it as an affiliate of an existing organization, like AAMI, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering or ACCE; however, none of these associations is able or interested in a new organization with the goals stated above. It looks as if we need to start a brand new society, which can be unfettered by the politics of an existing organization. That’s where you come in.

How You Can Help

Starting an organization is difficult. First, we need to determine what we will be doing. After all, we cannot try to be all things to all people. We need to look around and try to not duplicate the great work the other existing organizations are currenty doing. Here’s what else we need:

  • We need some brainpower to help craft a new group, which will have a real purpose and powerful goals.
  • We need young biomeds to help us figure out what sort of needs we can help meet for the future leaders of our profession.
  • We need millennials, Gen-Xers, and baby boomers to tell us what you want from this new organization.
  • We need to put together a mission statement and a list of goals and priorities.
  • We need bylaws and operating procedures.
  • We need to address finances. For instance, how much will it cost to operate? And where will the money come from?
  • We need biomeds and HTM professionals with a range of experience levels and job titles.
  • We need individuals, organizations, and companies to advise us.

We have already reserved a URL under the name of www.HTMA-USA.org and we’re considering the possibility of patterning the new organization after www.acadrad.org. After all, the Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research represents many imaging societies. Their sole job is lobbying on behalf of their members. Please read more about them online.

Finally, we need input from members of the field. Please email me at patrick@plynch.us to set up a time to speak on the phone about this new organization. I want to hear what you think about it, and how you think it should benefit us: the members of the HTM profession.

Patrick Lynch, CBET, CCE, CHTM, CPHIMS, FACCE, is a biomedical manager with 40 years’ experience. Questions and comments can be directed to 24×7 Magazine chief editor Keri Forsythe-Stephens at kstephens@medqor.com.