Tech Knowledge Associates

Clinical Engineering Firm Fills Positions Via Apprentice Program

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Published August 8, 2016 – Tech Knowledge Associates (TKA), a national clinical engineering firm based in Orange County, Calif, saw a growing need for trained biomed staff to manage large inventories of biomedical equipment that are critical to the hospitals that they serve. So company leaders brainstormed and determined the best way to address the shortage of trained professionals: establish an apprentice program. More…

Stephanie Shultis, TKA’s first apprentice

Tech Knowledge Associates Bioengineering Firm Introduces New Leadership

Ready to Roll Out Insourced Service Model Nationally

On April 13, 2016, The Innovation Institute introduced two executive leaders of its biomedical engineering firm Tech Knowledge Associates (TKA). George Hampton will serve as president and Jeffery Niederhausen will serve as chief financial officer. Both served in clinical engineering for Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI). Hampton will be based in Dayton, Ohio and Niederhausen will be based in Cincinnati, Ohio, but will oversee TKA’s operations nationwide.

Hampton has worked in clinical engineering for over 30 years, performing maintenance and repair on medical imaging equipment and radiation therapy systems in and around Southwest Ohio, and leading teams of clinical engineers for hospitals, including Good Samaritan Hospital, a 400 bed trauma center in Dayton, Ohio. He most recently served as area manager for CHI. Hampton has also worked with TKA as a consulting director, supporting the TKA leadership team since its launch in 2012. He holds degrees in both Biomedical Electronics and Healthcare Leadership from the Kettering College of Medical Arts.

“As TKA’s new president, one of my primary focuses will be national growth for the company,” said Hampton. “I look forward to sharing TKA’s unique business model, which will provide our clients with guaranteed savings and comprehensive insourced services. TKA will provide highly trained local talent to help eliminate the financial burden of costly service contracts,” added Hampton.

Niederhausen brings 18 years of successful experience with CHI, holding in a variety of accounting/finance roles, and most recently as director of Business Development and Operations. He has also served on the National Leadership for Clinical Engineering group as the voice of accounting and finance. Prior to his extensive service at CHI, Jeff worked with Novare Services, a for-profit clinical engineering firm.

“I anticipate that showing hospitals the savings and efficiencies they will gain from transitioning to a 24/7 insourced service and maintenance model will be well received, especially during these challenging times that call for both improved care and cost reductions,” said Niederhausen.

“We are pleased to welcome these outstanding executives to our team, and we look forward to their guidance in improving and expanding TKA’s capabilities,” said Joe Randolph, president and CEO, The Innovation Institute.

www.ii4change.com
1 Centerpointe Drive, Suite 200
La Palma, CA 90623
714.735.3750 main

About Tech Knowledge Associates

Tech Knowledge Associates is a national healthcare technology management organization that elevates clinical engineering through innovative management programs, medical equipment life cycle solutions, and service data for large inventories of medical devices that exceed $1 billion in value. For more information, go to www.ii-techknow.com.

About The Innovation Institute

The Innovation Institute is an independent, for-profit LLC structured to cultivate innovative solutions to transform healthcare delivery. The Innovation Institute is owned by non-profit health systems. This collaborative taps into physicians, employees, and industry business partners to incubate and commercialize new medical products and ideas. Comprised of three distinct elements – an innovation lab, an investment fund, and a shared services group (Enterprise Development Group), The Institute strives to “do more, with less, for more people.” For more information, visit www.ii4change.com.

Media Contact:

Francine Marlenée, 714.735.3767 or Francine.marlenee@ii4change.com.


Employee Service Awards

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On February 10, 2016, The Innovation Institute recognized employees for their years of service at the Third Annual Values Recognition & Service Awards Celebration, held at the Innovation Lab in Newport Beach. Below is the list of recipients. All have previous years from St. Joseph Health that they were able to transfer over to The Institute.

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Third Annual Values Recognition Program Award Recipients

The Innovation Institute

The Innovation Institute’s annual Values Recognition Awards Program was created to help recognize and celebrate our core values and the people in our family of companies who exemplify them. Recognition of our fellow employees in the great work they do every day is a critical part of our culture. The three values we embrace are T for Teamwork, H for Honesty & Integrity, and E for Excellence.

The Values Recognition Program Committee is pleased to share the recipients of the third annual Values Recognition Awards. Each recipient was recognized at an awards banquet on February 10, 2016 at the Innovation Lab in Newport Beach, California. Congratulations to the following honorees!

TEAMWORK: Anissa Hall
Southern California Regional Coordinator, TKA 

Anissa Hall has been instrumental in the success of the TKA Southern California Regional team. Her colleagues say she provides them with the operational backbone that holds the team together. She effectively coordinates site visits with the cross-functional team that consists of field service specialists, hospital clinical staff, TKA site leadership and TKA staff.

She triages calls and dispatches the appropriate regional field service specialists for service and ensures concise communication with all involved. She always pushes to ensure problems are resolved immediately, resulting in quick access to equipment for clinicians and patients. She can also be relied upon to secure the best and most cost effective parts and service.

As the subject matter expert in TEAM work order and purchase order processing, she regularly visits each site to provide administrative support.

Anissa demonstrates her dedication to teamwork by actively participating in all regularly scheduled meetings for directors, field service specialists, and office coordinators, which has given her a thorough understanding of TKA operations. She has used this knowledge to provide guidance, collaboration, and direction at all levels within TKA.

Anissa’s kind, yet effective demeanor gives her well-deserved respect by those at the customer sites and at The
Institute.

HONESTY: Jasper Jowers
Project Superintendent, HDC 

During a progress meeting, a client questioned a change order on an HDC project. After a few minutes, Jasper Jowers patiently, but firmly, expressed his honest opinion regarding the situation. The client then realized the HDC team was correct and that the change order was necessary.

One afternoon, a colleague of Jasper’s was onsite and witnessed a subcontractor speaking negatively to a day laborer. Immediately upon seeing this, Jasper jumped into action and diffused the situation. He then called a team meeting and informed everyone on the project that there isn’t anyone on the site with a more important responsibility or title than anyone else. He explained he would not tolerate disrespectful talk among workers and that they were all a team working toward a common goal.

Jasper’s attitude during times of conflict has always been exceptional. He strives for integrity by setting an example for others that promotes working together as a team. According to a colleague, he has a great way of looking at the bigger picture and bringing the team back together. Jasper is always professional and exemplifies high ethics and character on a daily basis.

EXCELLENCE: Bo Zhou
Regional Imaging Specialist, TKA 

Bo Zhou came to TKA directly from Siemens, a leader in research, technology and innovation. His expertise in Siemens MRI and CT system has been crucial to the financial and operational success in the Southern California Region. He is dedicated to providing first-class service to all of our customers. His in-depth knowledge in his specialty has given TKA credibility in high-end imaging modalities. His ability to speak MRI and CT language directly with the clinicians and physicians is paramount to the successful resolution of any service event.

Bo consistently shares his expertise and knowledge with others on the team, providing value to TKA and our customers. Recently, Bo traveled to a Northern California TKA account to assist in service. Ironically, he was known by the local clinical staff and was well received, making positive inroads for TKA at the account.

Bo is an excellent communicator who ensures that all parties involved are kept informed of the statusof repairs or service. He serves as a skilled and reliable technician who expertly services MRI and CT systems inhouse, allowing for the most cost effective labor rates for TKA. He always seeks out third party options for service and parts to get the best value possible.In one recent example, he saved TKA approximately $50K by selecting alternate, yet equally effective, vendor parts.


Power Strips and CMS

power_strips_cmsRelocatable Power Taps, commonly known as power strips, have become a much-needed addition to many operating rooms and other clinical spaces in which the quantity or location of receptacles are inadequate.

However, in June 2014, TJC Director of Engineering George Mills announced new restriction on the use of power strips. Included in the new restrictions is a rule to prevent relocatable power tabs to be used within patient care areas, including operating rooms, patient rooms, recovery rooms, exam rooms and diagnostic procedure rooms. Although CMS has held similar restrictions for quite some time, it appears that TJC surveys are now aligning with the more restrictive interpretations of CMS rules.
In many medical facilities, hospital staff and clinical engineering personnel rely upon relocatable power taps in order to create functional rooms with convenience and flexibility. How might this more restrictive mandate affect a hospital’s operational throughput, financial outlook, and clinical performance?

Sources:
http://www.ssr-inc.com/pressroom/compliance-news-tjc-announces-cms-driven-restrictions-relocatable-power-taps


A Day in The Life at TKA

Anissa Hall, Regional Office Coordinator, Southern California

day_at_tkaI have worked at TKA for the past eight years. I currently serve as a regional Office coordinator for TKA’s Southern California clients, including CHOC, St. Mary Hospital, St. Jude Medical Center, Mission Hospital, Mission Hospital Laguna Beach, and St. Joseph Orange.

Every day is different for me at TKA. I am often gathering Directors and Admins to discuss invoicing and accounting issues, and to get everyone on the same page. I manage Four Regional guys who travel throughout Southern California to keep all of our Hospitals covered. I make sure that work orders are successfully opened and closed, order parts and help with any other assistance they may need, and I assist a larger group of TKA directors with issues regarding purchase orders, vendors, work orders, invoicing, and timesheets.

Overall, TKA creates positive improvements within hospitals. Coming from St. Jude, I saw how TKA handled a smooth transition of employees and equipment maintenance. TKA is supportive of its staff, and the employees are very happy being part of the culture at TKA. The company offers extensive training which benefits all of our hospital clients. In return, TKA has a culture of employees who are very willing to learn more.

The regional teams at TKA are the best. They are very meticulous and budget conscious in their work, always looking for the best possible solution in any given situation. Rather than immediately calling a specific vendor for a repair, they first assess the ability to repair in-house; similarly, for the replacement of an equipment part, TKA obtains quotes to receive the best pricing. This process of receiving quotes and conducting in-house repairs whenever possible has saved our clients a significant amount of money.

Tech Knowledge Associates has been an excellent place to work, and also to grow. Cheers to many more excellent years with TKA!


Healthcare Trends Transforming Clinical Engineering and Hospital Supply Chain Management in 2014

health_trendsHealthcare Trends Transforming Clinical Engineering and Hospital Supply Chain Management in 2014

There are a number of current trends influencing the future of clinical engineering and supply chain management in hospitals. These trends include increased regulation, the effects of the Affordable Care Act, health system consolidation, an aging population, and the growth of emerging markets.

First, increased regulation is becoming an increased challenge for both facility owners and medical equipment professionals. One factor contributing to this trend is a consumer base which is increasingly demanding safer products, causing regulators to respond to this demand.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which took effect in 2013, has created much debate. In one opinion, opponents of the tax argue that the ACA will stifle job creation, product innovation and patient care. Supporters who defend the ACA argue that the Act’s resulting expansion of health coverage will increase the demand for healthcare and medical equipment and devices, thereby offsetting any perceived added costs or losses.

The consolidation of health systems is another trend impacting clinical engineering. Mergers and acquisitions of hospitals have drastically influenced the way in which patient care is delivered. In the medical equipment and device industry, hospital mergers and acquisitions can increase the chances of redundant systems and add complexity to clinical programs.

The near-global trend of an aging population will create an increased demand in medical equipment focused on diagnostic services and disease prevention. The combined trend in government-subsidized healthcare will most likely generate smaller profit margins. In order to adapt, companies will need to find ways to adjust their processes, increase efficiency, and reduce cost.

On the positive side, many U.S. manufacturers are finding greater market share in emerging markets such as in China, India and Brazil. Taking advantage of opportunities in emerging markets requires that a company carefully evaluate potential challenges, such as distribution channels, local barriers to entry, and government involvement in business.

Sources:
Five Trends Transforming the Medical Device Industry in 2014 by Lisa Weeks, MasterControl Inc.,
http://mastercontrolinc.blogspot.com/2014/06/five-trends-transforming-medical-device.html

10 Trends in Hospital Supply Chain Management by Akanksha Jayanthi, Becker’s Hospital Review,
http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/supply-chain/10-trends-in-hospital-supply-chain-management.html