Most states require health care facilities to comply with the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) Guidelines documents that outline minimum program, space and design requirements for clinical and support areas. The Guidelines are updated every four years, and currently the most widely adopted version is from 2010.

The 2010 Guidelines includes requirements for hospitals, including psychiatric hospitals and small primary care hospitals; ambulatory care facilities; residential health care facilities such as nursing homes and hospice facilities; and other health facilities, including freestanding birth centers and adult day health care facilities. To help health care architects, planners, designers, constructors and facility professionals understand the intricacies and requirements of the 2010 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities, ASHE and FGI recently collaborated to create a new online learning program.

The 2010 FGI Guidelines E-Learning Program offers tailored education that fits into busy schedules. The program allows users to customize educational segments with experts in the field and covers specific topics from the 2010 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities.

Each segment ranges from five to 25 minutes, allowing participants to pick and choose the segments that suit their needs. Participants can earn continuing education units by taking a self-assessment at the end of each segment.

With more than 130 learning segments and 24/7 access, the program makes it easy to stay up-to-date and in compliance. Program participants will learn how to define and apply Guidelines requirements by facility type as well as those regarding patient-safety risk assessments, and patient handling and movement assessments. The program also covers the requirements of ASHRAE 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, information that needs to be included in the functional program, and the process for submitting proposed revisions for future editions of the Guidelines. Other topics include commissioning, building systems and specific units within general hospitals, such as oncology, critical care and newborn intensive care units.

More information on the program, including a variety of subscription and package options, is available at For more information on the Guidelines, search for FGI Guidelines in the ASHE Resource Library at, where you’ll find ASHE articles, tools, code interpretations and other resources.

Patrick J. Andrus, CAE, is ASHE’s deputy executive director of operations.


Important monographs available from ASHE

Following are two recently released monographs that can be accessed by ASHE members as free PDFs at

HCAHPS Scores, the Patient Experience, and the Affordable Care Act from the Facility Perspective. This new ASHE monograph explores how the health care physical environment and facility professionals can improve patient satisfaction scores. It is available for free to ASHE members.

Risk Assessment of Medical Equipment. A key part of the Joint Commission’s environment of care management plans, risk assessments of medical equipment are covered in this new ASHE monograph. It presents a framework for facilities professionals to follow.

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 at