Following release of the Facility Guidelines Institute’s (FGI’s) 2018 Guidelines for Design and Construction documents earlier this year, state, federal and private organizations are beginning to apply the updated requirements to new and refurbished hospital, outpatient and residential facility projects. Meanwhile, Guidelines-related work continues:
- Updating the Guidelines. The Guidelines documents are updated every four years through a consensus process. While the content is developed by a 100-plus multidisciplinary committee of experts, these are public documents, and input from health care providers, designers, facility managers, patient advocates, authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) and others is essential to keep the requirements fundamental, up-to-date and enforceable. The public review process for revising the 2018 documents will begin this fall with the 2022 Guidelines proposal system. Users of the documents are urged to submit proposed changes to current Guidelines text that appears overly burdensome, out-of-date or confusing.
- Formal interpretations (FIs). Guidelines users request FIs when requirements are misinterpreted, appear ambiguous or need further explanation. FIs cannot determine design compliance or review plans. Formally processed by the Health Guidelines Revision Committee and requiring a consensus opinion, they are published for use by Guidelines users and AHJs; however, an AHJ is not mandated to apply an issued FI.
- Advisory opinions. Where an FI is not appropriate but an explanation of Guidelines requirements is needed, an advisory opinion may be requested. As with FIs, advisories cannot provide design guidance or plan review. Advisories are provided for informational purposes only.
- Errata. After Guidelines documents are published, editorial oversights or discrepancies are sometimes found. FGI posts errata sheets for all its documents on the FGI website. Users should download the most current versions to keep their documents up-to-date. Sign up for FGI’s newsletter, FGI Bulletin, or follow FGI on LinkedIn to be notified when errata are issued.
Douglas S. Erickson, FASHE, CHFM, HFDP, CHC, FGI chief executive officer