Hospitals and other health care facilities are different from most commercial buildings. That's why it's so important for those in the health care construction industry to understand what hospitals require during the building process.

ASHE has developed several tools to help advance the health care construction industry and build the relationship between the constructors and those who operate hospitals.

The Healthcare Construction Certificate (HCC) workshop offered through ASHE explains what owners, staff and patients expect of constructors who work in the health care environment. Without an understanding of the sensitivity of the hospital environment, constructors inadvertently could cause problems for patients.

"The activity of construction — the dust that's created, the noise, and the vibration — could actually do them significant harm," says Steve Spaanbroek, SASHE, CHFM, CHC, one of the workshop's faculty members.

Many hospital facility managers consider the HCC as a stamp of approval for constructors. Those who complete the HCC program are listed in a searchable database, so health care owners and facility managers can see who has completed this important training.

ASHE also offers a Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC) preparation course to help people striving for the CHC credential. The CHC credential is offered by the American Hospital Association Certification Center. Candidates must meet eligibility requirements that blend education and experience and then pass the CHC exam.

In addition to resources for those in the construction industry, ASHE also provides resources for hospital facility managers. The "Today You are Health Care" DVD can be incorporated into hospital training programs for constructors. The video provides an overview of important issues in health care construction.

Another DVD, "This New Hospital," gives an insider's tour of all the phases of a health care construction project from planning to occupancy. Health care facility managers can use this video to educate hospital managers and workers not typically involved in the planning, design and construction process.

These resources cover different topics for different audiences, but they all aim to advance the health care construction industry and explain the same point: A hospital is not simply another building. It is more complex and subject to many more regulations. And there is more at stake — our patients' health.

For a detailed list of ASHE educational programs, see the ASHE education calendar at For DVDs, visit the ASHE store at

By Deanna Martin, senior communications specialist at ASHE.

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