The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), an organization that represents a diverse community of nearly 7,000 professionals who support the development, management, and use of safe and effective healthcare technology, has announced the winners of its annual awards that salute leaders and innovators in the field.
The winners will receive their awards at the AAMI 2015 Conference & Expo, which takes place June 5-8, 2015 in Denver, Colo.
"We are so proud and delighted to honor these individuals," says AAMI president Mary Logan. "Their dedication to healthcare technology is inspiring. Because of the contributions of our honorees, clinicians and other caregivers have better tools and resources to help patients. In the end, their efforts help to improve patient outcomes."
The awards and winners are:
The AAMI Foundation's Laufman-Greatbatch Award
Masakazu Tsuzuki, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo,
Former President, Japanese Society of Medical Instrumentation
AAMI’s most prestigious award is named after two pioneers in the field—Harold Laufman, MD, and Wilson Greatbatch, PhD. It honors an individual or group that has made a unique and significant contribution to the advancement of healthcare technology and systems, service, patient care, or patient safety. Tsuzuki was selected for his contributions to the enhancement of patient care through technology, including establishing and chairing two study groups that created and published guidelines for Japanese healthcare facilities on issues associated with the use of surgical instruments and devices.
The AAMI Foundation & ACCE's Robert L. Morris Humanitarian Award
Robyn W. Frick, CCE, Clinical Engineer at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, ME.
This award—honoring the late humanitarian Robert Morris—recognizes individuals or organizations whose humanitarian efforts have applied healthcare technology to improving global human conditions. Frick has spent decades travelling around the world to educate biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) in underserved nations.
The AAMI Foundation & Institute for Technology in Health Care's Clinical Solution Award
Texas Children's Hospital Alarm Management Team in Houston
This award honors a healthcare technology professional or group that has applied innovative clinical engineering practices or principles to solve a significant patient care problem or challenge. Partnering with Medical Informatics, Corp., a provider of clinical decision support technology, Texas Children’s developed an alarm dashboard that provided a patient-level analytics platform to help make decisions about individual alarm settings.
AAMI & Becton Dickinson's Patient Safety Award
HumanEra Project at the University Health Network, University of Toronto
This award recognizes outstanding achievements by healthcare professionals who have made a significant advancement in patient safety. HumanEra won the award for its work on standardizing practices on multiple-line intravenous infusions to help prevent adverse patient events.
AAMI’s HTM Leadership Award
Izabella Gieras, MS, MBA, CCE, Director of Clinical Technology at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, CA
This award recognizes individual excellence, achievement, and leadership in the healthcare technology management (HTM) field. Gieras has served as an advocate for her peers by writing for and contributing to professional publications, participating on committees, and speaking at industry events.
AAMI & GE Healthcare's BMET of the Year Award
James Mazurek, CBET, Supervisory Biomedical Equipment Support Specialist at the VA Medical Center in Omaha, NE
This award is given to a BMET in recognition of his or her dedication, achievement, and excellence in the HTM field. Mazurek, a U.S. Air Force veteran, has been praised by his colleagues for his professionalism, unwavering attention to detail, and modest nature.
AAMI's Young Professional Award
Erin Sparnon, MEng, Health Devices Manager at ECRI Institute
This award is presented annually to a professional, under the age of 40, with a record of exemplary accomplishments and who demonstrates a commitment to the healthcare profession. Sparnon serves on a number of AAMI committees, including the Infusion Devices Standards Committee and the Infusion Safety Steering Committee.
Spirit of AAMI Award
Elliot B. Sloane, PhD, CCE, FHIMSS, President of the Center for Healthcare Information Research and Policy
This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of an AAMI member's volunteer efforts. Sloane has contributed to AAMI by moderating a series of virtual town hall meetings that bring together the HTM and information technology (IT) communities. He also serves on the Wireless Strategy Task Force, which looks at the challenges and opportunities presented by healthcare technology that is increasingly wireless.
Standards Developer Award
A maximum of five people may receive this honor each year. The award recognizes major contributions to the development or revision of a specific AAMI standard or international standard. This year’s recipients are:
Ajit Yoganathan, PhD, a professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, for his ongoing work on cardiac valve repair device standards.
Alan Tallentire, professor emeritus at the University of Manchester and former managing director at Air Dispersions, Ltd, for his contributions to radiation sterilization standards and his service on committees and working groups.
Stan Wiley, director of innovation processes and standards management at Dräger Medical Systems, for his work on a standard covering multifunction patient monitoring equipment.
Cynthia Spry, an independent clinical consultant and Ramona Conner, editor-in-chief, Guidelines for Perioperative Practice and manager of standards and recommended practices at the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, for their contributions to sterilization standards.
AAMI Technical Committee Award
Bestowed upon up to two AAMI technical committees annually, these awards recognize outstanding committee efforts to advance standards.
This year’s recipients are the Cardiac Valve Prostheses Committee for its work on three new heart valve standards and the AAMI Sterilization Standards Committee for its quick response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, including a multisociety statement.
Additionally, awards are given each year for content published in AAMI’s peer-reviewed journal, BI&T (Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology). The categories and winners are as follows:
Best Article: "Bridging the Culture Gap between Healthcare IT and Medical Device Development" by William L. Holden, a network and interoperability architect for the Connected Care Solutions Business Unit at Philips Healthcare. His article was published in the fall 2014 edition of Horizons, the biannual supplement to BI&T.
Best Commentary: "How the Industry Must Take in Stride New CMS and TJC Requirements" by Stephen L. Grimes, chief technology officer of ABM Healthcare Support Services. Grimes’ commentary was published in the November/December 2014 issue of BI&T.
Best Research Paper: "Video Methods for Evaluating Physiologic Monitor Alarms and Alarm Responses," written by a team of 11 clinicians and healthcare technology management professionals at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The paper was published in the May/June 2014 issue of BI&T.
Finally, each issue of BI&T contains a feature called "Bright Ideas," which looks at how a healthcare facility or school tackled a challenge related to healthcare technology management. The 2015 Bright Ideas Award goes to the VA HTM team and the VA National Center for Patient Safety, which has several locations. A profile of that team explained how the VA enacted a systems-based, multidisciplinary training initiative to support healthcare technology in its large and sprawling network of facilities. All clinical engineers must go through what is called a Patient Safety Boot Camp, which involves learning how to assess risk prior to purchasing complex medical devices.