In today's rapidly changing health care environment, hospital facility managers are always searching for ways to provide value, and cutting energy costs is often a big part of reducing overall facility costs. ASHE recently launched a new five-year campaign called Energy to Care, which draws attention to the importance of health care sustainability and aims to support patient care through energy efficiency.
Launched last month at the International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction in Orlando, Fla., the campaign is based on a simple idea. When hospitals generate energy savings, they can direct more resources toward their mission of serving patients and communities. The Energy to Care campaign asks hospitals to participate and help set efficiency goals for the campaign.
ASHE is encouraging hospital facility professionals, architects, engineers, energy professionals, community members, doctors, nurses, vendors and others to participate in the program.
Participating hospitals use ASHE tools to help reach sustainability goals. The Energy Efficiency Commitment (E2C) program, for example, provides hospitals with benchmarking tools to track energy use. A new and improved energy dashboard, made possible through support from Johnson Controls Inc., Milwaukee, allows hospitals to easily see their energy use over time. Hospitals also can compare their data with other facilities in their regions (with names removed) to see how they stack up.
The E2C program also recognizes hospitals that reduce their energy consumption by at least 10 percent. The E2C awards are a helpful way to encourage progress in hospitals and recognize milestones on the journey toward sustainability.
Hospitals will find additional help on the Sustainability Roadmap website (www.SustainabilityRoadmap.org). The site provides free, practical tools to help health care facilities reduce their environmental footprints. It shows hospitals how to implement real-world sustainability projects, enhance existing efforts and share their environmental successes with other facilities. For step-by-step guides on how to complete energy-saving projects, hospitals can use the roadmap's library of performance improvement measures.
The Sustainability Roadmap is attracting attention from across the country. A new allies program allows hospitals to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. ASHE recently recognized the first 10 hospitals to sign up as Sustainability Roadmap allies: Boulder (Colo.) Medical Center; Carilion New River Valley Medical Center, Christiansburg, Va.; Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H.; Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt.; Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, Falls Church, Va.; Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif.; North Shore-LIJ Health System, Manhasset, N.Y.; Sky Lakes Medical Center, Klamath Falls, Ore.; VA Palo Alto (Calif.) Health Care System; and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Dover, N.H.
Hospital facility professionals and vendors who want to participate in this campaign should visit www.EnergyToCare.com.
By Deanna Martin, senior communications specialist for ASHE.
Important monographs available
ASHE makes important resources available to members. Following are two recently released monographs that can be accessed by ASHE members as free PDFs at www.ashe.org/resources/management_monographs.
• Life Safety Code Comparison. The 2012 edition of the National Fire Protection Association's Life Safety Code offers new design and compliance options for health care facilities that didn't exist in previous editions. This ASHE monograph provides an exhaustive list of the changes in the new edition and a detailed comparison with the 2000 and 2009 editions.
• Room Ventilation and Airborne Disease. This ASHE monograph examines research on how room ventilation affects airborne-disease transmission in health care facilities. Farhad Memarzadeh, Ph.D., P.E., examines findings that consider the effects of air changes per hour on infection transmission.
Design guidelines available to industry through ASHE
The 2014 editions of the Facility Guidelines Institute's Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities and the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities can be purchased through ASHE at www.ASHEstore.com.