What is Clinical Engineering?
Clinical engineering is a specialty within Biomedical engineering responsible primarily for applying and implementing medical technology to optimise healthcare delivery.
Roles of clinical engineers include training and supervising biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs), working with governmental regulators on hospital inspections/audits, and serving as technological consultants for other hospital staff (e.g. physicians, administrators and I.T).
Clinical engineers also advise medical device producers regarding prospective design improvements based on clinical experiences, as well as monitor the progression of state-of-the-art devices in order to redirect hospital procurement patterns accordingly.
Their inherent focus on the practical implementation of technology has tended to keep them oriented more towards incremental-level redesigns and reconfigurations, as opposed to "revolutionary" R&D or cutting-edge ideas that would be many years from clinical adoptability. Nonetheless, there is an effort to expand this time-horizon over which clinical engineers can influence the trajectory of biomedical innovation.
In their various roles, they form a sort of "bridge" between product originators and end-users, by combining the perspectives of being both close to the point-of-use ('the front line'), while also trained in product and process design.
Clinical Engineering departments at large hospitals will sometimes hire not just biomedical engineers, but also industrial/systems engineers to help address operations research, human factors, cost analyses, safety and other important areas.
About the National Panel on Clinical Engineering
The National Panel on Clinical Engineering (NCPE) has the following aims:
- Identify the role of Clinical Engineering in the Health Industry.
- Outline the scope and financial value of Clinical Engineers.
- Identify a cooperative role for Clinical Engineers and research institutions in technology research; and for engineers in redeveloping an Australian medical manufacturing industry.
- Identify the training role of Clinical Engineering departments.
- Look at the role Clinical Engineers play in other disciplines.
- Assess recent and future changes in the discipline.
- Comment on the health industry's ability to cope with Clinical Engineering and technology-related decisions.
- Propose an education strategy for senior health managers on Clinical Engineering.
- Identify the role of risk management in Clinical Engineering.
Global Day of Clinical Engineering 2017
The Global Day of Clinical Engineering is an annual event, held on October 21, convened by the Clinical Engineering Division (CED) of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE).This is the global organisation representing Biomedical Engineering at the highest level with which the Engineers Australia College of BME is affiliated.
The Day is intended to provide an international showcase and celebration of the role that Clinical Engineers play in the provision of healthcare.
The content from the participating countries can be accessed at http://global.icehtmc.com/globalceday
Australia was involved in the inaugural event in 2016 and once again is engaged in 2017. This year, rather than the live “follow the sun” webinar format of 2016, a range of pre-recorded content has been contributed that highlights some Clinical Engineering activities that will be of interest to our global peers. The presentations comprise the following, that can be accessed directly via the Youtube links provided
Enjoy the CPD opportunity that these, and the others from around the world, present in celebration of our profession that contributes to the health of people across the globe.
For any enquiries regarding the National Panel on Clinical Engineering please contact:
Learned Society Advisor
11 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600
To contact Member Services please call: 1300 653 113