Marvin D. Shepherd has been inducted into the Clinical Engineering Hall of Fame in recognition of his work and significant contributions to the development and advancement of the clinical engineering profession.
Marv began his career in the 1960s and is certainly one of the pioneers in clinical engineering. Based on his contributions over 50+ years, he is absolutely one of the most influential pioneers and industry leaders in our profession. He has had a substantial impact on its evolution since the profession’s inception. He advocated by prolifically writing and speaking widely on topics related to a systems approach to safety, fire safety, electrical safety, human factors engineering, and incident investigation.
In the early days of clinical engineering, Marv’s publications and presentations influenced young clinical engineers and ultimately his material became the foundation of our knowledge about how safety, human factors engineering, and incident investigation could contribute to patient care.
Marv's innovations in safety, human factors engineering, and incident investigation led him to develop two of what would become clinical engineering profession’s most referenced tools. One is Shepherd's System for Medical Device Incident Investigation and Reporting (Quest Publishing, 1992) and the other is the Electrical Safety Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Safety Standards for Healthcare Facilities (AAMI).
Marv not only helped define key elements in what should be a comprehensive clinical engineering service, but he was effective reaching out to the national and international community with his knowledge and expertise. He was a generous mentor to many in the field, meeting and sharing his knowledge and expertise at many domestic and international conferences and workshops. He further demonstrated his passion and dedication by creating and funding the DEVTEQ/Shepherd Patient Safety Award. This annual award is now given jointly by the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE) and the Healthcare Technology Foundation (HTF) and is bestowed upon a single individual or one entity who has excelled in the "safety" area related to the CE field. Potential recipients of the Devteq/Shepherd Award could be a national investigator of accidents, an inventor of a safety device, or an author of books on medical device hazards, etc.
Certification, Registration and Peer Recognition:
- Registered Professional Engineer, (Safety) California
- Fellow, American College of Clinical Engineering
- ACCE Lifetime Achievement Award (2006)
Below are some extracts from the material provided for his nomination:
- Marv was a very valuable resource for whenever I had questions about electrical safety, regulatory interpretations, or how to investigate a medical device-related incident. Marv, in his thoughtful and calm way, always provided helpful hints and practical guidance and was a mentor to me and several others within the University of California healthcare systems
- One of Marv’s many talents that I particularly admire is his writing ability. He developed Shepherd’s System for Incident Investigation and Reporting that for many years he regularly updated and sold as a subscription service for attorney's and others
- Marvin is recognized as one of the first in our field to propose a methodology that described patient safety and risk management as a system that consists of elements to be identified and controlled
- Impacting colleagues outside the USA, Mr. Shepherd volunteered to join the faculty of the Advanced Clinical Engineering Workshops, traveling the world in efforts to train colleagues practicing in low-income countries. He taught in Argentina, with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in California, Ecuador, and Costa Rica
- Marvin’s lectures and publications have contributed to set the foundation for human factor engineering and patient safety in several academic programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Personally, I considered Marvin as a true influencer in the clinical engineering field for the young generations
- Marv is a wise man with an unmatched wealth of knowledge and experience in Clinical Engineering and medical device safety from the beginnings of the profession and deserves the highest of credits
- Patient safety is one of the pillars of clinical engineering. We are a respected voice, which has advised the Joint Commission, the Office of National Coordinator, the FDA, and others on patient safety issues. The body of knowledge we have amassed and the respect our voice has are built on the pioneering work of Marv Shepherd.
Summary of Career
From 1958 through 1970 Marv worked in the physiology department at the Proctor Eye Research Foundation supporting investigators in physiology and eye researched through the development, construction, and support of unique instrumentation.
Beginning in 1970 Marvin was the program manager in the office of environmental health and safety at the University of California, San Francisco Medical center. While there he managed programs in fire safety, hazardous materials, physical safety, not ionizing radiation, emergency response, medical device safety, and education and training. He retired from that position in 1991 and established Devteq Consulting, providing consultation on medical device safety issues to hospitals, manufacturers, and government agencies. He also provided seminars on medical device safety, risk management and human error, and expert witness services on accidents involving medical devices.
Although retired, he continues his safety consulting with hospitals, manufacturers, lawyers, and governmental agencies. He is presently a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) committee member on laser fire prevention and a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Clinical Engineering. He has consulted with California FDA and was a consultant to the national FDA panel on "General Hospital and Personal Use Section," General Medical Devices, for seven years.
More than 500 device-related incidents have been investigated by Marv and he has frequently served as an expert witness in legal cases. He has written/presented over 150 technical papers related to hospital and medical device safety and managing the risks of technology. He is the author of Shepherd's System for Medical Device Incident Investigation and Reporting (Baretich Engineering Company), which describes a system engineering approach to analyzing the causes of device-related accidents.
He was a temporary advisor to the United Nations and Pan American Health Organization, 2001 (Ecuador), 2002 (Costa Rica). His recent interest has been to encourage clinical engineers to become more involved in human error theory and to apply it to the reduction of human errors in healthcare systems.
Marv was a member of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), the American Society of Healthcare Risk Managers (ASHRM), the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE), and NFPA; is an IEEE Life Associate; and a Fellow in the American College of Clinical Engineering.