One of the privileges of working at Health Facilities Management (HFM) is the opportunity to observe the health delivery system at close range. This has become especially interesting over the past few years as health care organizations grapple with dramatic reductions to the industry's long-standing financial resources and they attempt to carve out a leaner model of care.
For HFM's readers, these changes have centered on three key areas:
• Facility transformation. Health facilities professionals must make the main hospital flexible enough to handle unpredictable challenges, and enable it to run at peak efficiency and safety, while at the same time help the organization develop a network of ambulatory centers, freestanding clinics, retail outlets and even home care systems that will allow it to thrive in the new era.
• Technology adoption. This has become ubiquitous in all areas of health facilities design, construction and operations. From designers who use building information modeling to facilities managers who depend on infrastructure control and monitoring technologies to environmental services staff who use high-tech cleaning verification systems and infection prevention devices, health facilities professionals must stay on the forefront of new enabling technologies.
• Professional development. Commensurate with these areas is the need for health facilities professionals to improve their technical and managerial skills, especially as they relate to selling their missions to the executive suite and training the next generation of professionals to eventually replace the current ranks of aging veterans.
As health care organizations continue to reinvent themselves, progress in these key areas will go a long way toward determining their success.