Mike Busdicker, System Director of Clinical Engineering at Intermountain Healthcare
Welcome to Baker College’s Spotlight feature, a series of brief interviews with notable BC students, faculty and alumni who are making news and reaching new heights in their educational and professional pursuits.
This edition of Spotlight features Mike Busdicker, MBA, CHTM, FACHE, who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Baker College, and today is the System Director of Clinical Engineering at Salt Lake City, Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare. Here we learn more about Mike and his professional path and passions.
Baker College (BC): Mike, thank you in advance for sharing your story with our readers. What can you first tell us about your journey with Baker College?
Mike Busdicker (MB): In 2004, I enrolled at Baker College and started my journey in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. This goal was accomplished in June 2006, when at the age of 43, I walked across the stage with my family present in the audience. I really wanted to set an example for my children on the importance of higher education. The plan was to move right into the process of achieving a master’s degree, but job and family responsibilities resulted in a break. Then, in 2009, I enrolled in the Baker College MBA program with an emphasis on Healthcare Administration. In June 2011, at the age of 48, again with my family present, I walked across the stage to receive my advanced degree.
BC: We’re certain your family must be very proud of your efforts. What can you tell us about why you chose Baker College for your educational pursuits?
MB: When I made the decision to pursue higher education, it was important to find a college that was affordable, reputable and flexible. I was 41 years old, had a full-time job, was a member of the Air National Guard and had five children at home. I spent a couple of months researching several schools, and there was no doubt that Baker College and its Center for Online Studies was the perfect fit. As I progressed through each class, it was clear I had made the right decision. The professors were outstanding, classmates extremely helpful, the content was current and relevant and my knowledge continued to grow and expand. The online courses require substantial self-discipline, but they do allow some flexibility, and Baker College does an outstanding job administering the courses.
BC: It’s wonderful to hear that Baker provided such a positive experience for you. Fast-forward to today, tell us about your current professional role and some of your day-to-day responsibilities.
MB: My current job title is System Director of Clinical Engineering at Intermountain Healthcare, based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. My position is responsible for healthcare technology management covering 25 hospitals, more than 300 clinics, equipment used in medical air transport and home healthcare. My staff includes 112 caregivers, who ensure the medical equipment used to treat and care for patients is safe and reliable. We have more than 130,000 pieces of medical equipment on the inventory, and provide services in Idaho, Utah and Nevada. Some of my other job responsibilities include: ensuring adherence to regulatory standards, tracking metrics, attending and conducting daily leadership huddles, reviewing financial performance, mentoring staff and contributing to national industry standards that help move healthcare into the future. As a leader, another thing I find extremely important is helping my staff understand how the work they do contributes to the Mission, Vision and Values of Intermountain Healthcare, and to Healthcare Technology Management.
BC: It sounds like you have no shortage of things to do each day! It also sounds like Healthcare Technology is an exciting field. Were you always interested in it? What first inspired/drove you to consider Healthcare Technology as your career path?
MB: In 1982, I joined the U.S. Air Force and selected a career in electronics. The Air Force assigned me to Biomedical Equipment Repair, and after basic training, sent me off to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas for school. At the time, I was not familiar with the industry, but during training, realized that it was a great field with a lot of career potential. Over the next seven years, I spent time in Greece, Italy, Germany and the U.S. (Arizona), working on medical equipment and advancing within the field.
BC: We applaud you for your service, and are glad it led you to where you are today. That said, what do you like best about your job/career? Also, what do you find most challenging?
MB: The Healthcare Technology Management industry provides an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people across all spectrums. It is not direct patient care, but the equipment we service and maintain is directly responsible for the treatment and healing of patients. Each day brings an opportunity to serve the people in our communities, and contribute to the entire healthcare industry. The most challenging aspect of the career is staying on top of rapidly developing technology, to ensure we keep our patients and caregivers safe. There is a tremendous amount of new medical equipment, including personal wearable devices, that collect and transmit data. This generates a significant challenge in securing these devices from hackers and ransomware attacks. Personal identifiable information and protected health information has become valuable on the dark web and target of bad players.
BC: We all should be grateful to dedicated professionals like you, working to keep patients, and the healthcare system, safe. Looking back, what were your career goals when you first enrolled at BC? How do they compare to where you are today?
MB: My career goals included the ability to enhance my professional knowledge concerning all of healthcare, and not just in my specific field. In turn, this would create opportunities for career progression and an ability to become a leader within my industry. Attending Baker College provided the knowledge base I needed to continue personal and professional growth. Immediately upon graduating from the MBA program, the doors started to open, and I found myself with the opportunities to join outstanding healthcare organizations. Things have continued to progress, and I am truly thankful for the decision to attend Baker College.
BC: We are too! And we understand some additional accolades are in order as well. You were recently honored with a leadership award from AAMI. What can you tell us about that organization and this recognition?
MB: The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) is a national organization with more than 9,000 professional members. This organization, and its members, are focused on the development, management and safe use of healthcare technology. They are a leader in the national and international arena for the development of standards in the medical device industry, and the guidance and support of healthcare technology, sterilization and dialysis professionals. I was awarded the Healthcare Technology Management Leadership Award for 2021. This award recognizes an individual’s achievements and leadership in Healthcare Technology Management. It is an honor to receive this prestigious award, and humbling to be considered in the same category as current and past HTM Leaders. It has been a highlight of my career and provides some confidence that I might leave a lasting and positive impression on the field and in healthcare.
BC: Congratulations on your recognition and success to date. How do you feel your time at/degree from Baker College has contributed to your professional successes?
MB: There is no doubt in my mind that a significant portion of my success is a direct result of the knowledge and degrees earned from Baker College. Career aspirations have been presented, and achieved, based on things learned and acquired from Baker College. My success, and the award received, would not have been completely possible without the tremendous professors and course curriculum offered and provided by the school.
BC: That’s wonderful to hear, and we hope inspirational for some of our current students. What best piece of advice would you share with them?
MB: My best advice would be to immerse yourself in the information and knowledge being provided by the staff at Baker College. Higher education in the workforce is extremely valuable, and will provide the base needed to be successful. If you are finishing an associate degree, jump right into the next phase…if you are finishing a bachelor’s degree, jump right into the next phase. Don’t say, “I’m going to take a couple of months off and then get back into it.” Those couple of months will drag out, and before you know it, two years will have passed, and you will realize you could have finished your MBA in that time.
BC: Thanks again for your sharing your insights, Mike. Anything else you’d like to add?
MB: Be passionate about your career choice, and understand that higher education is a privilege. The knowledge you gain, and obtain, through your studies will provide a tremendous base for success. The only obstacles faced studying and taking classes at Baker College are typically self-imposed.