Advances in healthcare technology have made the practice of medicine highly dependent on the equipment and devices they employ. As newer and more sophisticated technologies become available, hospitals are challenged to access and evaluate innovative new equipment, acquire and install them in the most cost effective manner, integrate them with existing systems, train the clinical users and ensure the best possible operation as they are adopted into the patient care workflow. Additionally, the increased complexities of regulatory compliance, technical maintenance, system diagnostics, and risk management have created an urgent need for educated professionals that can stand in the gap between medical practice, sophisticated technology, and operations management.
The Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department at the University of Connecticut School of Engineering has been offering Clinical Engineering internship program for over 25 years. The Master of Engineering in Clinical Engineering is designed and geared toward working professionals in this field. It is a three-year program designed to prepare clinical engineers to advance and become leaders in their field and help hospitals meet their clinical technology management and regulatory challenges. In this program, engineers will gain knowledge, skills and experience in the practice of clinical engineering, systems engineering, and operations management. These include:
- Understanding complex hospital equipment Implementing, analyzing and acquiring medical devices
- Reducing the risk of healthcare technology ownership
- Implementing and integrating medical devices
- Managing projects and programs
- Managing technology related finances
Upon completion, each student will earn a Master’s Degree in Engineering while working in a clinical engineering setting. They will learn the value of available clinical engineering resources, and be prepared to advance their career in clinical engineering. The University of Connecticut is uniquely qualified to offer this program. Director and principle instructor, Frank Painter, has 40 years of combined experience; as Director of Clinical Engineering and a healthcare technology risk management consultant as well as 18 years teaching clinical engineering at UConn. He has been President of the American College of Clinical Engineering, Chairman of the Healthcare Technology Certification Commission, and winner of the AAMI Clinical/Biomedical Engineering Achievement Award and the ACCE Marv Shepherd Patient Safety Award. He has also provided consulting for the World Health Organization and the Pan-American Health Organization in the area of clinical engineering and healthcare technology management.
Upon completion of this program, students will be prepared to:
1. Lead healthcare technology implementation and improvement by working with clinicians and administrators to
- Identify technology needs and gaps
- Assess existing technologies
- Plan, negotiate and acquire medical equipment using life-cycle cost analysis techniques
- Manage installations and integration of new systems
- Perform clinical staff assessment and training
- Ensure all safety standards and regulatory compliance are met
- Manage the technology during its useful life
- Plan and prioritize eventual replacement of technology
2. Investigate technology related incidents and accidents, coordinate with medical staff, risk managers and manufacturers to identify high risk technologies, investigate root causes of incidents, remediate technical and procedural deficiencies using failure modes and effects analysis, identify process improvements to advance patient safety and file reports with management, regulators, and other stakeholders.
3. Evaluate and specify utility systems which connect to medical equipment, such as electrical power, medical gases, ventilation systems and illumination methods. Evaluate and measure environmental risks which are found in the healthcare setting such as electromagnetic interference, radiation safety, electrical safety in the patient environment, fire protection, and indoor air quality and disaster planning.
4. Design, analyze, and implement methods to interconnect medical devices to the hospital’s computer network to transfer patient data to the electronic medical record. Understanding medical device security, patient information security, the role of middleware and clinical information systems.
Additionally, each students will
1. Be prepared for certification in Clinical Engineering by the American College of Clinical Engineering.
2. Become a member of the clinical engineering community through networking with professionals in a hospital setting and membership in professional societies.
3. Acquire the professional discipline for staying abreast of current technology and clinical engineering best practices, following changes in regulatory and safety standards, and adhering to ethical engineering practice.
4. Be prepared to advance in professional responsibilities and scope of expertise.
All participants are expected to have a Bachelor of Science in Engineering plus 3 years of clinical engineering experience.
Course Offering Schedule
|Fall 2017||BME 5030||Human Error and Medical Device Accidents|
|Spring 2018||BME 5040||Medical Instrumentation in the Hospital|
|Fall 2018||BME 5020||Clinical Engineering Fundamentals|
|Spring 2019||BME 5050||Engineering Problems in the Hospital|
|Fall 2019||BME 5070||Clinical Systems Engineering|
|Spring 2020||BME 5095||Medical Device Cybersecurity|
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Clinical Engineering Course Description