HEA were pleased to host New Zealand colleague Michael Brown, Biomedical Services Technician from Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury at this year’s conference Michael is the President of IHEA sister association NZIHE.
The NZIHE first met in Wellington in 1936. Its main purpose is to promote the management and technical aspects of healthcare engineering. Focusing on Facilities and Clinical engineering, the NZIHE gives members access to experts in the industry.
Healthcare engineering is the branch of engineering specialising in the management and delivery of technical services required in support of medical equipment, buildings and infrastructure used to deliver vital services in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Building services are crucial to the optimum performance of healthcare establishments and amount to approximately 40% of the construction cost for a typical building. In addition to the building systems required for day-to-day operation such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, water, lighting, and power, complex healthcare facilities also require specialist systems in areas like gas distribution, humidity and infection control.
Clinical engineering is designed to not only manage but also effectively maintain the medical equipment and technology devices in a facility. Clinical engineers assist in the successful daily operations of a healthcare facility, from contract management to equipment inspection and are responsible for implementing comprehensive technology assessment processes and managing technology-based projects from beginning to end.
Professional associations such as NZIHE offer many benefits to engineers, including young engineers who are just entering the field. The benefits include establishing yourself in the profession, networking, mentoring, training, and socialising, to name a few. While there is a cost and time commitment to belonging to an association, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
NZIHE events such as the NZIHE annual conference allow engineers to network with peers from diverse backgrounds and companies across New Zealand and around the world. The challenges other engineers face on projects and in the workplace provide a wider perspective on the industry as a whole. Opportunities for growth into leadership roles are provided and encouraged.
The NZIHE currently has just under 100 members, evenly split between Facilities Management and Clinical Engineering