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Health technology (team!) management

Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | June 03, 2020
From the May 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

That’s not to say that every troubleshooting challenge needs a high-tech solution, or even a lot of time to dissect the issue. “I’ve been in the field long enough that I’m less surprised when I see simple fixes overlooked. I think we still, as an industry, tend to get into the weeds and look for complex problems, when it might be solved by something as simple as blowing out the PC and cleaning it out versus re-ghosting a system,” he says.

Dustin Telford
The ability to not lean so heavily on deep expertise that you overlook a fairly mundane solution could be a desirable quality in a team member, but Telford has a few other traits he looks for as well. “I can tell you it’s easy to find someone that has good technical skills, maybe not in the biomedical field. It’s also easy to find people who can provide very good customer service, but we look for both. When we go through the interview process, we not only look to confirm someone can do the job due to knowledge they already have or with the right amount of onboarding and training, but we also look at how well they will do that job when they interface with clinical staff, visitors, and our patients. For example, if I ever heard someone in an interview say they didn’t like kids, that’d be a red-flag, since that’s who we have as patients.”

Telford says prospects go through a team interview which enables him to get feedback from others and provides additional insight. “I hope the team is very candid about what they like, and allow the person to understand what they’re getting into. It’s one thing to talk about culture, it’s another thing to hear from a large group instead of only the hiring manager about what that culture means.”

According to Telford, the culture at Children’s is supportive, but that doesn’t mean his wish list is blank. For instance, more time to evaluate equipment purchase decisions would be welcome. Currently, that review time typically runs two to six weeks for simpler technology, whereas a new CT could take several months. To help make the most of the time, he says his team tries to get ahead through attending conferences, reading the literature and engaging vendors before something is even brought to them for review. “I think the number one thing that would help my job and everyone else’s would be better collaboration with the hospital systems, manufacturers and third-parties,” he says.

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