Time is life's one great constant. Yet, we're all sure that it speeds up, slows down and at key moments stops completely.

I suspect this has something to do with the rapid pace of change we experience in our lives, but particularly in our work. For environmental services (ES) directors, like most dedicated leaders in health care settings, the pace of change continues to accelerate at breakneck speed.

ES leaders who can quickly adapt and embrace change, and help their teams to do the same, are far more likely to succeed both in their careers and in creating safer environments for patient care. I reflected on this after my recent interview with Patti Costello, executive director of the Association for the Healthcare Environment.

She discussed how this rapid change will be one of the key challenges facing ES leaders in the years ahead, whether in technology, communication as well as the very definition of and responsibilities associated with the ES director title. [Read this Q&A in the August issue of HFM.]

One of the main reasons we created HFM's ES News is to help bring you a more organized and convenient way to keep up with the myriad changes impacting your world. In this edition, we provide a menu of important reports and insights on strategic issues facing all ES directors.

In his article on ES involvement in the hospital design and construction process, Bob Paine, CHESP, director of operation at Acuity Concepts Inc., Foxboro, Mass., outlines proactive steps ES leaders can take to become more involved in these projects, including sharing expertise on life expectancies and total costs of flooring surfaces.

Elsewhere, Rock Jensen, senior consultant at Soriant Healthcare, Milton, Ga., explains how ES managers can have sustained success in five key areas — knowledge, organization, relationships, engagement and leadership.

In addition, you'll find a variety of other news reports, links to recent developments in the research and regulatory areas, and more.

We trust that as the pace of change continues to accelerate, you'll find ES News a valuable resource to help you excel at keeping health care environments safe for patients.

Bob Kehoe is the associate publisher of Health Facilities Management.