Introduction to Clinical Engineering, by Samantha Jacques and Barbara Christe, provides a useful overview of the health technology industry for newcomers and seasoned veterans alike. The book consists of seven main sections: The Profession, Healthcare Technology Basics, Healthcare Technology Management, Safety and Systems Safety, Information Technology, Facilities Management, and Human Resource Management. These sections provide an overview of the industry without getting into the weeds.
Although the book is geared toward newcomers to clinical engineering, anyone looking to move into management or generally wanting to see how the healthcare technology management (HTM) field is changing could find value in its content. Given the rapid evolution of health technology, staying up to date on the current and future trends described in this book is important.
When I first began reading Introduction to Clinical Engineering, I was struck by how I wished it had existed when I first started in the industry. It provides a great introduction for aspiring biomedical equipment technicians and HTM managers in an easily digestible format. The book is written in a manner that makes the concepts described easily digestible yet highly informative.
What I found especially useful was the fact that the authors included abbreviations and references for each section covered. Given how many abbreviations are used in the field of HTM, I found this to be extremely helpful for anyone entering the field.
The section on information technology (IT) effectively highlights how the HTM field is changing. As health technology and systems become increasingly connected, a greater need will exist for the HTM workforce to gain familiarity with IT concepts—and this will be particularly true for newcomers to the field. The sections covering ransomware, DoS (denial-of-service) attacks, formjacking, and cybersecurity of medical devices are especially informative, providing a strong overview for anyone new to cybersecurity and additional resources for those seeking a deeper understanding.
The last part of the book includes about 90 pages of additional content that goes into greater detail on previously described topic areas. An index also is included to help readers quickly find passages containing specific terms; this could be a useful resource for someone who is preparing for a certification exam.
After finishing the book, I wished I had it when I was first starting out in HTM and when I was studying for AAMI's CHTM (Certified Healthcare Technology Manager) exam. The insights it contains are valuable for professionals who are transitioning from technician to management roles, and the additional resources that are included can guide those seeking further knowledge. It also would be a valuable resource for those looking at taking the new CABT (Certified Associate in Biomedical Technology) exam.
The book also is recommended for anyone who is looking to gain a general understanding of the HTM field. It's a great primer that anyone can pick up and read, particularly with the help of the abbreviations section.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a refresher, transitioning into management, or trying to enter the HTM field. Breaking into the health technology industry can be difficult, but Introduction to Clinical Engineering makes the process less daunting and more approachable.
About the Reviewer
Nathan Lynch, BA, CHTM, is a biomedical cybersecurity analyst for Kaiser Permanente in Englewood, CO.