Why We Created HTM Talk
In the past, Biomeds of the US had a great tool called BioMedTalk. It was started by Mike Kauffman as a way for BMETs, imaging engineers and other medical equipment maintenance people to network, ask each other questions, and share horror stories about bad manufacturers and other companies.
It worked like this: First, you had to join. This is so that BioMedTalk knew where to send emails to you. Second, after registration, you began to receive email in your email inbox. Every time someone submitted a question to BioMedTalk, it was sent out to all registered members.
When you received an email from BioMedTalk, you had three options. 1. Ignore it if it didn’t apply to you. 2. Respond to the entire BioMedTalk community if you had a comment or answer that might be of use to everybody. or 3. Respond directly to the person submitting the post. You might do this if you planned to share confidential information, or if a more protracted discussion was required.
Replying was easy because all you needed was email. All posts and all replies were done by sending an email. It was easy, quick, and encouraged lots of responses because of the extremely simple nature of the communications.
Biomeds don’t know everything. BioMedTalk offered them a way to connect as never before. Manufacturers who told lies to Biomeds could be found out. The old story of “You’re the only one experiencing this problem.” became a thing of the past. We could finally check on the stories being told to us. We no longer lived in isolation.
Well. BioMedTalk became too much work for Mike, so he sold it to ECRI Institute. They maintained it as it was for several years, but recently changed it into a web-based forum. Usage by Biomeds has plummeted. Responses are extremely rare. This is because in order to create a post or comment on another post, you must open a browser, log in, and post an answer. This is too much work for overworked Biomeds. They will share their opinions and technical tips if they can do it without too much effort. Replying to an email is just about the most they will do. Anything beyond that is too much of a hurdle.
Announcing The NEW HTM Talk:
MD Publishing and ECRI Institute each have their own listservs. They have advantages such as search features, separation of posts by topic, and other cool things. This makes them the best forums for the discussion of issues and problems in medical equipment maintenance. But they have some limitations for the biomed who is sitting at his workbench in the middle of a repair and needs to ask a question.
First, creating an on-the-fly question resources several steps, and access to a website. This is too many steps, and the websites are often blocked in hospitals.
But everybody has email.
I have developed HTM Talk with speed and ease in mind. Create a post using only email. Send it using only email. All registered members reeive the email within one minute. They can respond to either the individual poster or to the entire group with a single click of their mouse to “REPLY” or “REPLY ALL”. Potentially, when you make a post, you could have a reply withing 2 minutes. This is the key feature that makes HTM Talk different from the other Lists.
I have become friends with Biomeds in several other countries that speak French and Spanish. They have no ability to use web browsers, but email is fairly readily accessible. They cannot use the existing Lists for a couple of reasons. First, they are shy about posting questions to an English-only forum. Second, the limited access to web browsers from very slow internet connections is a major problem. Graphics and HTML-based websites do not load well.
We have created versions of HTMTalk in Spanish and French. They are separate lists, but the instructions and system comments are in the native language. This is better than just using a single list for multiple languages. It keeps the number of posts to a minimum. I encourage anyone who is bilingual to join more than one group. And if appropriate, cross-post in another HTMTalk if appropriate.
CLICK HERE to learn more.
CLICK HERE to join.
HTM Talk has been added as a featured benefit to the Healthcare Technology Association of Ohio. Access to the HTM Talk and the HTM Talk information website is now available from the menu on our main website homepage.
CLICK HERE to visit and select from the menu.