Healthcare services across the globe are under increasing technical, financial and political pressures, regardless of size or wealth of the nation.
If we are to learn from global crises such as the recent pandemic, it is that 21st century medicine
can only be delivered with significant amounts of technology and that care at home is just as
critical as care in hospitals.
Working side-by-side with clinicians, engineers in healthcare help to ensure the highest
levels of care and safety for patients and guarantee that where medical technology and
services are being implemented, that they are the right tools for the job.
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers believes that to deliver safe and affordable care in
this fast-changing environment, healthcare engineers need to have increased authority
and decision-making powers, as well as a wider range of skills.
In this new report, the Institution is calling for the creation of two new roles:
Chief Healthcare Engineer to be appointed in every hospital. This would be a position of professional parity with roles such as the Head of Surgery, Chief Nurse and Chief Pharmacist. These engineers would have consistent qualifications, level of authority, decision-making abilities, and connectivity with other hospitals.
This reiterates a call first made by the Institution in 2016 for the creation of the role of Chief Healthcare Engineer.
Patient-Enablement Engineers and Technicians in Social Care. These specialists would work exclusively in the space between acute care and social care with their clinical colleagues. They would not only require the full remit of engineering qualifications and skills but in-depth clinical and social care knowledge as well as management and customer
In a parallel report, “Healthcare Solutions: Improving Technology Adoption” the Institution looks at improving technology use and innovation in the NHS.
Healthcare solutions: improving technology adoption
Healthcare: engineering solutions for the NHS