WS-01: IFMBE Workshop: Biomedical Engineering/Clinical Engineering Education

THE STATUS OF CLINICAL ENGINEERING PROGRAMS IN LATIN AMERICA REGION


Martha Zequera Díaz


Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia


The aim of this paper is to present the status of Clinical Engineering Programs in Latin America Region. It was found at the region 60 Biomedical Engineering and Bioengi-neering programs established according with the literature re-view [1], [2], [3]. Due to the greater population ageing and the increase in the prevalence of chronic illnesses in Latin America, new technologies in healthcare emerged and showed to be more effective supporting the national health services. In addition demographic changes significantly influence the way health services are offered. 

This field has evolved greatly since the 1960s when it emerged in Canada and the United States in response to the increasing amount of technology used to deliver health care. And the clinical engineers were focused on patient safety and medical devices assessment. [4], [5]. According to Mullally (2008) “Clinical engineering departments (CEDs) began to emerge in hospitals in the early 1970s, and CEs became inter-ested in equipment acquisition, user training, and user education”, in the other hand the budget restraints in health care spending saw CEs become involved in purchase and the as-sessment of emergent technologies. In addition the proliferation of clinical patient relevant information introduced management software for CED. Actually the CEs are involved in research and development activities and comprehensive technology assessments [7], [6]. Mullally (2008) reports that the main is-sues taking in account at the CEs are the following: a. Staffing: adequate staffing of both CEs and biomedical equipment techni-cians/technologists (BMETs), b. Special training of staff to employment in the CED, c. Administrative space with adequate workspace and storage space for equipment inventory, d. Com-puterized maintenance and management system, e. Test Equip-ment and Tools adequate to perform maintenance duties, f. Communications Equipment to facilitate communication be-tween CED staff and equipment users, manufacturers and vendors [7].

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