In April’s 24×7, an article, “New Group Offering a Different Certification Plan For Refurbishers,” expressed concepts that are wrong and dangerous to the used medical equipment industry. The statement, “A code of ethics is no substitute for technical competence,” must be considered in the context of the real world. News programs like 60 Minutes run undercover sting operations on auto mechanics, insurance companies, truck rentals and travel agents, all of whom enjoy professional accreditation, because those industries are burdened by many unethical participants. This problem is so common it makes Mr. Tuft’s statement laughable.
IAMERS (the International Association of Medical Equipment Remarketers and Servicers) began seven years ago in response to the poor reputation the used medical equipment industry earned due to the shady activities of a few repeat offenders. Some of these companies implied they had FDA certification. Many are now out of business, but only after hurting many sellers and buyers.
IAMERS sets high standards for ethics and professionalism. We help members meet those standards through educational programs and our ethics committee’s complaint process. When a member or non-member, has a complaint with an IAMERS members business practices, the Ethics Committee decides the merits based on factual evidence. There are three levels of sanctions that can be enacted including expulsion.
The FDA came to IAMERS to determine if our industry required outside regulation. IAMERS prevented the imposition of regulations with onerous paperwork responsibilities that would have followed. IAMERS with AAMI led an industry coalition that has structured workable self-regulating guidelines the FDA has accepted. This demonstrates IAMERS leadership in the used medical equipment industry. We have led the battle to reopen China to used medical equipment Our activities enhance our marketplace.
It is distressing that Mr. Tuft chooses to link a commercial e-commerce venture to his professional association. This is an unethical relationship. How can an association be impartial and credible while reaping profit from a transactional site only their members belong to? Isn’t this the fox guarding the chicken coop?
Mr. Tuft has it backwards, in reality “technical competence is never a substitute for ethics.”
We missed seeing the Postcards feature in recent issues of 24×7 magazine. Hope this doesn’t mean you are doing away with it. It is a great way for our professions to keep in touch with what other organizations are doing and get ideas from their activities. It is hard to keep interest piqued, keep ideas fresh, to keep members involved and attract new ones. I think professional organizations legitimize our contributions to the biomedical field and the medical community at large. We have lots of new ideas and a great July meeting planned in a few weeks. Is the omission of Postcards just a temporary thing or is it kaput? Hope not!
Rich Ogg, CBET
Muskogee Regional Medical Center
Chairman of TABETA, Tulsa Okla.
The Postcards are not kaput! Each issue of 24×7 is a game of musical chairs and when the music stops and we go to press, we’re always forced to leave a few good things out. We’ll make a special effort to save a chair for Postcards in the future, so keep on sending us your local association news and ideas!