Over the past few years, we have seen the growing convergence of the clinical engineering (CE) and information technology (IT) departments in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Today’s equipment is increasingly computerized and networked, so it only makes sense that these two departments should be working together. But along with this convergence comes a great deal of trepidation and distrust. Change is hard, and the very nature of it can create a feeling of imbalance. Things we were used to no longer hold true; new things we don’t completely understand yet are introduced. We are faced with either getting on board, or being seen as throwing a wrench in the works.
After speaking with many people in the industry, a few things have become clear to me. Both sides are still very committed to their jobs and the success of their organizations, but the way they approach their work is very different. IT departments tend to be more business-oriented. They are focused on systems and procedures and have strict rules by which they abide. CE departments, in contrast, tend to be more patient-centric. They do whatever it takes to service the patient. These approaches are neither right nor wrong, just different.
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