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Larry Fennigkoh, Ph.D., P.E.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2009
Pioneered the risk and maintenance-need analysis applied to medical-equipment maintenance management and educated thousands of clinical engineers worldwide.

Larry Fennigkoh was inducted into Hall of Fame at American College of Clinical Engineering

Via ACCE | June 17, 2017

Dr. Fennigkoh is inducted for his pioneering work in developing a medical device inventory inclusion algorithm that significantly reduced the maintenance and regulatory burden for many of the nation’s hospitals. He is also being recognized for his application of human factors principles in device incident investigations and the reduction of medical error.

Dr. Fennigkoh earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. After leading the clinical engineering departments at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center – Milwaukee, WI, he became Professor, Biomedical Engineering at MSOE. He has received numerous awards from prestigious organizations, including AAMI Clinical Engineering Achievement Award in 1994, ACCE Patient Safety Advocacy Award in 2006, and inducted fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2009.

Below are some extracts from the material provided for his nomination.

“Dr. Fennigkoh is best known among clinical engineering (CE) professionals as the “father” of the “risk-based criteria” for equipment inclusion into maintenance management inventory… adopted by The Joint Commission (TJC)… until 2013 when the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated all devices to be included into the inventory… The tremendous contribution of his model to CE by itself would have justified Dr. Fennigkoh’s induction into the CE Hall of Fame. However, he did not rest on his laurels. He continued to contribute to the advancement of the CE profession after accepting an academic appointment in 1998 after 2 decades of leadership in CE departments. Besides the typical academic pursuits of teaching and research, he used his extensive experience to investigate patient incidents involving medical devices and other technologies… The experience acquired in these cases allowed him to publish articles and deliver presentations to help CE professionals learn how to reduce risks associated with medical devices, thereby benefiting uncountable number of patients and caregivers… In addition to incident investigations, Dr. Fennigkoh also became very involved with human-factors engineering (HFE). He delivered lectures and published articles pointing out that the root cause of many alleged “user errors” (later termed “use errors”) were actually poor HFE. His efforts in promoting HFE have made his contribution to patient safety even more significant and wide reaching… Continue reading.

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