The vital work that health care facility professionals perform often goes unnoticed by patients. But facility professionals — the behind-the-scenes heroes of health care — are critical to creating and maintaining safe, healing environments. To recognize this important but often-overlooked work, ASHE encourages hospitals to celebrate National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week on Oct. 25–31.

Take time to recognize your staff for all they do to keep our health care facilities running. ASHE has provided members with several ideas on how to celebrate their behind-the-scenes heroes:

Give National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week logo gifts to your staff. Increase the visibility of your staff by providing logo items such as shirts and hats for staff members to wear during the week. Gift items are also available to celebrate behind-the-scenes heroes in your facility. Visit to view merchandise.

• Use social media. ASHE will be celebrating Engineering Week on social media. Visit to participate in a fun social media challenge. Use the #HealthEngWeek hashtag and share your celebrations with ASHE so we can retweet or share your posts. Follow @ASHEAHA on Twitter, or connect with ASHE on Facebook at

• Sponsor a lunch, breakfast or open house. One way to increase visibility of the facility department is to invite hospital staff and visitors to take a tour of the department. You also can create a photo album or poster of pictures showing the facility staff at work. This can be an opportunity to promote a better understanding of the department and the duties facility professionals perform.

• Create a trivia contest. Conducting a trivia contest can engage hospital staff in other departments. Throughout the week, ask staff questions about your department or the facility, such as “How many square feet of total space does the facility have?” Announce the answers and contest winners in your employee newsletter.

• Draw attention to your department. Create a banner that can hang at the entrance to your hospital to draw attention to National Health Care Facilities & Engineering Week, or purchase the official ASHE posters to place around your facility.

• Get the word out. Involve your marketing and public relations department to promote National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week both in the facility and in your local community. ASHE offers sample press releases and guidelines for asking for a proclamation from your mayor or city council at

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.

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