The New Year, Reflection, and Uncertainty

By Jim Fedele


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know I sound like a broken record about this, but the New Year does afford us unique opportunity to review where we are and make new goals and resolutions.

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From  starting  new projects, working on your career or just your physical appearance and health, the New Year does provide an opportunity to hit the reset button and leave our past behind and start anew.

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I find comfort in what New Years symbolizes. It provides me with the necessary closure to a year’s worth of experience, good and bad. It provides a natural catalyst to goal setting and career planning that I just can’t seem to do in the middle of the year. I know many people that use this time of year to resolve to better themselves physically and professionally. The national media and merchants also help facilitate that this is a time to make some changes by providing news stories and products to help us set and achieve new goals. QVC and The Home Shopping network will be advertising fitness equipment all day on January 1 because they also know it is a time of renewal.

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As I reflect on the past year, I feel good about my accomplishments. We completed some major projects, got my techs a lot of training and we passed our Joint Commission inspection. There are always things I could have done better, like learning a little more about my customers changing needs or improving my data collection efforts. However, I feel like I accomplished what was most important.

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Looking at the future though I do see uncertainty. We will have a new administration that has committed to changing the Affordable Care Act, the health system I work for recently merged with a larger health system and The Joint Commission promises to introduce new changes in 2017.  For me, uncertainty will be the new normal for a while. With that in mind, I think everyone who supports this industry should think about creating our own success. I think innovative ideas will be necessary to support our customers and the challenges they are facing. I believe we as an industry need to update ourselves, and our customers. I think we need to let go of the antiquated ideas of preventative maintenance and safety inspection. Modern medical equipment simply does not require the service attention it needed 15 or 20 years ago. Yet I see people defending these practices like the world is going to end.  We must position ourselves to be viewed as innovators so we can remain relevant and necessary in this changing environment.

I am not sure what the magic formula is going to be for 2017, I think it will be different for everyone depending on his or her situation. I feel like we need to change our narrative to be innovators and not be obstructionist. That being said, sticking to sound customer service principals should point us in the right direction and from there we will need to use our creativity to provide unique solutions to our customers.

With that, I would like to wish all my readers a Happy New Year! Thanks for your past and future support. I would also like to thank the Medical Dealer staff for their support and help over the past year.

Jim Fedele, CBET, has been with Medical Dealer magazine for more than 15 years. He is currently the director of clinical engineering for Susquehanna Health Systems in Williamsport, Pa. He can be reached for questions and/or comments by email at