The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) has been named a 2017 Energy Star Partner of the Year–Energy Efficiency Program Delivery Award winner for its work to help health care facilities become more energy efficient. “This award recognizes the leadership and dedication of the ASHE board of directors, Sustainability Committee, Energy to Care program partners and, of course, our members who have made the commitment to energy efficiency within their facilities,” says ASHE Executive Director P.J. Andrus. “We are excited to continue building on the success of the Energy to Care program.” ASHE provides resources and programs tailored for hospitals, such as the Energy to Care benchmarking and awards program and the Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals website.

Joint Commission emphasizes self-harm risks

The Joint Commission is placing added emphasis on the assessment of ligature, suicide and self-harm observations in psychiatric hospitals and inpatient psychiatric patient areas in general hospitals during its site surveys, according to the Joint Commission Online newsletter. The organization says the heightened focus on suicide prevention in its survey process, which began earlier this month, coincides with the national Zero Suicide campaign that seeks to eliminate suicides in health care facilities. Although the Joint Commission notes that while suicide is often an impulsive decision, there are still steps health care facilities can take to eliminate environmental risks.

FGI updates design guide for behavioral facilities

The Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) recently updated its Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities. The guide, which expounds on FGI’s Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities by providing more detail and best practices for protecting patients and staff, is coauthored by James M. Hunt, AIA, NCARB, president of Behavioral Health Facility Consulting, and David M. Sine, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, president of SafetyLogic Systems.

ASHE issues report on emergency power resiliency

The Healthcare Leadership Initiative on Maintenance of Power, a project of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) and Powered for Patients, has released a monograph aimed at furthering discussion around safeguarding emergency power for U.S. health care facilities. The report summarizes lessons learned about emergency power resiliency from previous disasters, explains how to assess vulnerabilities and suggests new ways to safeguard emergency power through new technologies, innovative protocols and information sharing. A PDF of the monograph can be downloaded on ASHE’s website.

IHI, NPSF merge to improve patient safety

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) merged effective May 1. The merged patient safety teams, to be led by Tejal K. Gandhi, M.D., MPH, CPPS, NPSF president and CEO, will combine existing NPSF and IHI patient safety programs and reflect an enhanced commitment to achieve patient safety around the world. “Improving patient safety has always been central to IHI’s mission of improving health and health care quality,” says IHI President and CEO Derek Feeley. “Yet, safety now competes for attention and resources with other important issues such as value-driven care and population health. By joining forces, IHI and NPSF will be more effective in helping leaders and front-line clinicians meet all of today’s challenges while ensuring that patient safety remains a priority along the way.”