Erin M. Sparnon has been named the recipient of the 2014 ACCE-HIMSS Excellence in Clinical Engineering and Information Technology Synergies Award, a joint award sponsored by the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE) and HIMSS. The boards of directors of both organizations selected the recipient.
The award recognizes individuals who have best demonstrated leadership in promoting or implementing significant synergies between the clinical engineering and information technology professions. Award recipients also must be members in good standing of both organizations. Nominees for the award are honored for professional or technical contributions to the professions, such as research, development of a new process or product, a paper of significance, and “trailblazing” work in a new application of clinical engineering and IT.
“Over the last several years, Erin has developed a tremendous amount if expertise in the area of infusion technology and focused her efforts to help make ensure industry adopts safer ways to use and deploy this technology. She is an excellent presenter and has educated countless healthcare professionals on a wide variety of topics related to safety and medical technology, particularly in the area of infusion technology and medical device connectivity. Erin especially excels in imparting her practical judgments about medical technology use throughout her very active support of IHE patient care device (PCD) and other standards-related efforts. I've been fortunate to work with her on ACCE activities as well as IHE PCD and the HIMSS Patient Safety TaskForce and find her willingness and insight very helpful,” said Paul Sherman, president of ACCE.
As an engineering manager at the ECRI Institute’s health devices group, Sparnon leads a team in testing and evaluating medical devices, serves as an in-house expert on health IT, and helps shape the research priorities and protocols of the ECRI Patient Safety Organization (PSO) Partnership for Promoting Health IT Patient Safety. She conducted hands-on analysis of frontline caregiver reports of health IT-related patient safety events, co-authoring a series of studies in the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory. An active member of several safety and standards groups within HIMSS, ACCE, and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), she often reviews and analyzes for her colleagues the many differentiators among technical, clinical, policy, and research issues.
She is an active HIMSS member and joined the Quality, Cost and Safety Committee (QCS) in 2013. While serving on QCS Committee and HIMSS/ACCE Patient Safety Task Force,
Sparnon contributed to comments developed by both organizations in response to the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) and commentary drafts to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC).
“Erin Sparnon brings a valued, patient-safety perspective voice to HIMSS discussions based on her experience and expertise in researching frontline caregiver reports of health IT safety,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, executive vice president, HIMSS. “Her unique expertise and collaborative efforts, as a HIMSS committee volunteer, has helped advance quality health IT standards, patient safety, and medical device integration.”
Sparnon has been an advocate for patient safety in work with both ACCE and HIMSS, often serving as a neutral voice between facility-based and vendor-based colleagues. In the last year, she has:
- served as certification tester interpreting and troubleshooting Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise HL7 messages for medical device integration,
- helped ECRI-member hospitals talk through clinical goals for integration,
- served as a panelist, at FDA’s invitation, for a FDSIA public workshop discussion on the use of standards and conformity assessment, and
- guided research on health IT safety with the ECRI PSO Partnership.
Sparnon will be honored at the Awards Gala on Tuesday, April 14, during the 2015 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition on April 12-16, in Chicago, Ill. Tickets for the HIMSS15 Awards Gala are available on the HIMSS15 registration page or by calling 866.710.0769 for more information.
HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology. HIMSS is a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause. HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
ACCE is a nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to represent the professional interests of clinical engineers. It does this through establishing standards of competence and promoting excellence in clinical engineering practice, promoting safe and effective application of science and technology in patient care, defining the body of knowledge on which the profession is based, and serving as an advocate for the profession.