Successful facility professionals understand the importance of promoting the facility department and its work to health care executives. They can easily explain how facility departments provide value in a variety of ways, including keeping the hospital in compliance with codes and standards; reducing the cost of care through utility efficiency; and reducing health care-associated infections by creating healthful environments for patients.
Yet many times, facility managers struggle with this promotional role, preferring instead to act as behind-the-scenes heroes who rush to the rescue when a boiler breaks. A new ASHE monograph provides suggestions and real-world examples on how to hone promotional skills to enhance the reputation of the facility department to the C-suite.
The monograph —Promoting the Value of the Facility Department to the C-Suite — suggests that building relationships, showing off the department and reporting on Triple Aim metrics can help to elevate the role of facility professionals.
Building relationships. One relationship-building tip provided in the monograph is to demonstrate credibility by showing that the facility department runs like a business. Dana Swenson, senior vice president at UMass Memorial Medical Center, said facility managers should know and report basic metrics such as average full-time equivalents per occupied bed, average work hours per unit of service and number of meals served. “These metrics show why it’s less expensive to use your guys than to hire a third party,” Swenson says in the monograph. “You should be more cost effective than [a third party], and you need to be letting people know that.”
Showing off the department. The monograph suggests that the facility department be included as part of regular rounding by the CEO or other hospital executives. This can help C-suite leaders understand the facility department and the valuable work that it provides.
Reporting Triple Aim metrics. By reporting on metrics related to health care’s Triple Aim — reduced costs, improved population health and better patient satisfaction — facility managers can speak the same language as executives. Written annual reports can further show the value of the facility department. The monograph includes sample dashboards and annual reports that ASHE members have used to report on Triple Aim metrics.
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.