As health care organizations transition from hospitals on campuses to multiple facilities delivering care over broader geographical areas, facilities professionals often find themselves at the mercy of changes beyond their control. But, with the news at this year’s ASHE International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design and Construction that the Facility Guidelines Institute’s (FGI’s) design and construction guidelines will be re-envisioned for the 2018 edition, professionals have a chance to take a more active role.

One element of this change will see the outpatient facilities section of the hospital guidelines split off into a separate guide, which will be issued alongside FGI’s long-standing hospital guide and its more recent residential health, care, and support facilities guide.

The move is part of a larger set of actions that emerged from colloquia organized by FGI’s board of directors. They brought together a group of health care futurists who were asked to envision health care environments and trends that may emerge by 2026, and to help FGI lay out a road map for developing documents that will remain relevant over several decades.

The findings, which will sound familiar to our readers, covered the struggles of organizations to reduce costs while improving clinical quality and the patient experience as well as challenges from shifting reimbursement policies, an aging population, newly insured patients, new information technologies and new care models.

As a result, FGI has funded research to identify any existing content that goes beyond fundamental requirements and is directing its Health Guidelines Revision Committee to move this material into a “beyond fundamental” series of publications that will promote best practices. FGI also tasked a committee with identifying topics that need particular attention, including acoustics, bariatric accommodations, emergency preparedness, geriatric accommodations, infection prevention, security, sustainability and technology.

Health facilities professionals are being encouraged to propose changes for the 2018 editions of the guidelines and to volunteer for the topic-specific projects. For more, go to This opportunity to help drive facility development should not be missed.