Facility managers largely work behind the scenes to create safe, healing environments. Their work, although a critical part of hospital operations, often goes unnoticed. National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week is a time to change this dynamic and shine a spotlight on the important work done by facility departments. This year, National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week highlights how facility and engineering departments are essential members of the health care team. During the week of Oct. 23–29, take time to recognize your facility department in the following ways:

Raise the profile. Hospital facility managers have used several approaches to raise the profile of the facility department during National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week. Some departments offer tours to the C-suite, clinicians and other staff who have never visited a boiler room or seen an air handling unit. When hospital staff see firsthand these critical systems, it can give them a new perspective on the importance of facility engineering. Other hospitals host lunches with the facility department or display banners in hospital lobbies or hallways calling attention to the week.

Recognize staff. National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week also is a time to recognize and thank your staff for the work they do. Recognition gifts — including apparel, travel mugs, tool bags and more — are available at www.ashe.org/engineeringwk. A recognition lunch or celebration for staff also can demonstrate your appreciation. ASHE will recognize its members with free webinars and resources during the week, including a Joint Commission update.

Expand the spotlight. ASHE, a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association (AHA), invites facility professionals to spread the word about this national event through social media. ASHE and the AHA will be promoting this recognition week through social media, and ASHE invites hospitals to participate in the social media challenge. To learn more, visit the ASHE website. 

Another way to brighten the spotlight on engineering week is to talk with your hospital’s public relations department. A press release can bring attention to facility department work. Many public relations departments also handle social media for the organization and can use those channels to highlight the valuable work of facility departments.

Keep the conversation going. National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week is just one week of the year, and facility professionals work on behalf of patients every single day. Keep the conversation going throughout the year to ensure that your department is truly valued as an essential member of the health care team. 

Deanna Martin is the membership and communications director at the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.


Important monographs available from ASHE

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

  • 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 www.ASHEstore.com.