I try to describe AAMI Meetings to people. Let's face it, any of us who have been working long enough have been through plenty of meetings and can well imagine what it is like to sit in a room with 30 or more people for 4 - 8 hours in an effort to come to agreement on a standards document. Sometimes things go really smoothly and there is broad consensus. But that is the exception, not the rule.
AAMI brings together a diverse group of people: healthcare practitioners (typically representing Sterile Processing, Surgery and Infection Control, etc.); medical device manufacturers of a great assortment of products (implants, diagnostic equipment, reprocessing equipment, testing products, etc.); testing laboratories, international members (Canada and Europe in particular are well represented); regulatory agencies (including the FDA) and finally trade associations such as AORN, IAHCSMM, APIC, ADA, etc.
All of us members of the Sterilization Standards Committee of AAMI are focused and dedicated to the proper and improving practice of medical device sterilization. But, of course, the devil is in the details. Very dedicated, serious people can, and do disagree. Sometimes strenuously. Meetings can get contentious. It is important always to remind oneself that while you may not agree with everyone in the room you ultimately share the same goal. Of course, the best medicine often for passionate disagreement is to share a laugh. And in one of last week's meeting, that was provided by the "Harmonizers." Pictured here are Sue Klacik, Rose Seavey and Martha Young.
Discussions were heating up, and then these three broke the group up with laughter, by humming in harmony to "demonstrate" a point about harmonizing AAMI standards.
The meeting continued, and certainly there were still disagreements, but humming harmony reminded the group that we were working together for the improvement in the delivery of healthcare. I can still hear the humming in my head!