The monitoring, maintenance and repair of a hospital’s mechanical and electrical systems are essential to keeping a health care facility efficient and safe. In effect they are the lifelines, the foundation of what keep a health care facility running right.   

It’s a big job and we’re here to help. Through this and our other newsletters and Health Facilities Management magazine and its website we try to make your job as a facility professional a little easier by providing authoritative information from industry experts.

For example, our new partner NRG Business provides sponsored content in this newsletter that gives a compelling case on the importance of measuring energy use.

The path to energy savings starts with benchmarking energy performance of your facilities, advice that may be old hat for many of you. But it also may be new for others who are still learning the nuances of the business or possibly find the task of measuring energy use daunting.

New or not, benchmarking is a path you must take and continue. “Energy is about 50 percent of a health care facility manager’s budget,” says Terry M. Scott, who serves as the director of engineering and construction services for three of the hospitals in the Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System.

The system is proof that benchmarking and energy efficiency are invaluable. Its 14 hospitals saved $47 million in five years by implementing energy-saving measures.

“If you don’t get benchmarked, you can’t measure what you’re doing,” says Scott, SASHE, CHFM, CHSP, president-elect of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE).

Which leads me to ASHE, another excellent resource for expanding your knowledge of health care facility management and staying on top of latest codes and regulations that impact your job as well as ways to cut energy use and thus costs.

ASHE offers detailed guidance on building systems in the latest editions of the Mechanical Systems Handbook for Health Care Facilities and the Electrical Systems Handbook for Health Care Facilities.

NRG’s report also references other excellent resources you can turn to for information on keeping your facilities running lean and mean such as the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

So there are plenty of resources out there for you, which is a good thing. Knowledge is power and the kind you want in abundance.