Reporting on a dynamic field like health facilities design, construction and operations doesn’t give the editorial and graphic design staff of Health Facilities Management much chance to pause. Even as I write this column, for instance, we’re already parsing data and designing tables for next month’s cover story on our triennial health care salary survey.

Conducted in cooperation with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and the Association for the Healthcare Environment, our salary survey has long been the most popular of our recurring surveys. Indeed, a recent look at our website’s visitor metrics found that our last salary survey, conducted in 2012, is still among our Top 10 most popular editorial pieces of any kind at

While not wanting to give away too much information that will be presented next month, I can tell you that some of the big-picture numbers and written comments show that the health care industry’s active merger-and-consolidation picture has had a profound effect on this year’s survey results.

For instance, about a third of responding health facilities professionals say their organizations have been involved in such activity over the past few years.

It’s perhaps not surprising, then, that slightly more than a quarter of respondents also said that the number of departments reporting to them had increased over the same period. “Assumed greater responsibilities and acquired more departments and multiple hospitals last year,” wrote one typical respondent.

The comments also show that many other respondents are still waiting to see how consolidations ultimately will shake out when they get down to the facilities professional’s level. For instance, one said, “We’re still going through the early stages of a merger and it’s hard to tell what effect it will have on me.”

All in all, the responses reflect more industrywide change than we’ve seen in any of our previous salary surveys. To learn more about these developments and find out how they ultimately affect the pay and benefits of hospital facilities professionals, check out next month’s issue of Health Facilities Management.