UTMC biomedical engineers create recognition program for hospital employees

April 5, 2012 | UToday
By Nicolette Jett



It started with Joe Munier in the Biomedical Engineering Department at UT Medical Center giving out candy to those who made the extra effort to alert the office when medical devices were in need of inspection or repair.

Now that gesture has grown to an official recognition program called Helping Us to Give Great Service, or HUGGS.

“Anyone who goes out of their way to help us can be recognized for putting in the extra effort,” said Steve Hanenkrath, director of the Biomedical Engineering Work Center. “By helping our department, medical equipment can be processed quicker, therefore creating a better patient environment and also helping the staff; it’s a win-win for everyone.”

The HUGGS program, named in part for the Hershey Hugs that were given out in thanks, is a fun way to acknowledge those who go out of their way to locate backlogged devices, remove equipment from service when it is due for inspection, and fill out service tags appropriately, Hanenkrath said.

When staff assists by bringing this information to the attention of the Biomedical Engineering Department, the team can turn equipment around more quickly and provide the most efficient devices for patients.

As the award continues to develop, the department plans to give certificates and extra large Hershey Hugs and Kisses candy to those who have been recognized.

“HUGGS is a lighthearted way to create a positive atmosphere around UTMC and help our department,” Hanenkrath said. “By inspecting and replacing devices and equipment around the hospital, we can provide a higher degree of service and higher degree of patient care.”

The department is excited for the development of the award and anxious to recognize those around UTMC for all the hard work they put forth every day to serve patients better, Hanenkrath said.