The WHO Collaborating Center for Health Technology Management at the Technical Services Partnership at the University of Vermont (UVM) offered the Healthcare Technology Planning & Management course for the third time on the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Virtual Campus for Public Health. The course ran from September 23, 2019 – December 15, 2019. The course leadership included academic coordinators and professors from the collaborating center: Tobey Clark - English course, and Rossana Rivas – Spanish course, along with tutors Tatiana Molina Velasquez from Colombia and María Sol Maldonado from Argentina. Sixty-four students successful completed the course with 31% passing with excellence – the highest level. The professions represented included 40% Engineers and 16% Physician Executives with other participants in the fields of Information Technology, Pharmacy, Purchasing, Laboratory, Dentistry, Nursing, Physics, and Architecture. The course evaluations were positive with the biggest advantages cited to be: Access to diverse sources of information, Autonomy & freedom of schedules, Exchange with colleagues, and Variety of communication tools.
Following the PAHO 11th Annual Meeting of the Health Technology Assessment Network of the Americas in November, the collaborating center was formally invited to be a member of PAHO’s RedETSA which is the Network for Evaluation of Health Technologies in the Americas (in English). RedETSA includes 34 members from the Americans from various entities – Ministry of Health, WHO collaborating centers, and other public health technology assessment groups. We are the only member from the USA and are currently focusing on the medical devices work group formulating a protocol for medical device assessments. RedETSA also has a valuable resource of over 1500 health technology assessment reports at the Regional Database of Health Technology Assessment Reports in the Americas (BRISA).
In Peru, Rossana Rivas, WHO Collaborating Center for HTM Senior Advisor, is working with a number of health technology stakeholders at the Ministry of Health, ESSALUD, Comptroller’s office (administrator of hospital accreditation surveys), and the professional organizations - Peruvian College of Engineering and the Peruvian College of Physicians.
In 2020, three new international interns started work with the Technical Services Partnership (TSP) –Vadisha Peru and Matthew Tung from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago campus, and Julian Pinzon from Universidad EIA in Medellin, Colombia. Vadisha and Matthew with their biomedical engineering technology degrees are focused on medical equipment QA and service at the UVM Medical Center while Julian, a fifth year BME student, is working on several data analytics projects including a re-evaluation of our AEM program, report development, and data cleansing. TSP also employs five undergraduate BME students from UVM.
Lastly, Ilir Kullolli, ACCE President, made a virtual guest presentation in the UVM course BME 296 – Clinical Engineering covering the value of ACCE, membership and activities at Stanford Children’s Hospital. Other guest presenters in the course taught by Tobey Clark have been Rossana Rivas, Sue Schade, CTO UVM Health Network, and the TSP UVM Medical Center clinical engineering team.