Many patients in hospitals are often fearful, stressed or upset. They come to a health care facility for surgery, to have a baby or to fight cancer. During their stay, they won’t think of the medical gas systems being used, the fire barriers protecting them or the direction of airflow in the room. They won’t think about backup generators, hazardous materials or sprinkler systems. For many facility professionals, that’s the goal. After all, a well-functioning physical environment should fade into the background so that patients can focus on regaining their health. 

But without the important efforts of facility professionals, hospitals would not be the safe, healing environments they are today. Health care facility professionals make a real difference in the lives of patients, their families and their caregivers. National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week shines a spotlight on the often unnoticed contributions of facility professionals. And there are many ways you can help to celebrate the important behind-the-scenes role that facility professionals play in safe patient care.

During National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week Oct. 22-28, ASHE will recognize the important work of its members: It will provide free webinars for members throughout the week, and also will be announcing the winner of the 2017 Excellence in Health Care Facility Management Award. The award, sponsored by Trane, honors individuals and teams who exemplify how facility managers and caregivers join together to identify an issue and create a proactive and viable approach to attain a resolution that optimizes the physical environment and improves patient care. 

New this year, ASHE is hosting a Facebook video challenge. Create a short video showing how you and your facility team support patient care. Then post your video on Facebook with the hashtag #HealthEngWeek, and encourage your friends and colleagues to “Like” your video. The video with the highest number of positive Facebook reactions by Oct. 30 will win a gift basket along with bragging rights. ASHE will promote the videos to help spread the word about the work being done by facility professionals. 

ASHE encourages facility leaders to take time during Engineering Week to celebrate their teams. Consider recognition gifts such as apparel, travel mugs or tool bags. Lunches and celebrations for staff are other ways to show your appreciation. Putting up posters or hosting tours of the facility department can help to spread the word throughout the hospital. Working with your hospital’s public relations department can do the same in the community. 

Visit for more information on this special opportunity to celebrate our field and to see the gift catalog.

Deanna Martin is the membership and communications director for 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.

  • "Roadmap to Resiliency.This monograph summarizes lessons learned from previous disasters, explains how to assess vulnerabilities and suggests new ways to safeguard emergency power through new technologies, innovative protocols and information sharing.
  • "Life Safety Code Comparison." Many factors influence whether a health care organization chooses to apply the most recent edition of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, to a project. This monograph provides an exhaustive list of the differences among the 2012 edition of NFPA 101 and the 2000 and 2009 editions, as well as the 2015 edition of the International Building Code.

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