Nearly 4,000 gathered at the ASHE annual conference to learn about important codes and trends impacting health care facilities.

Photo courtesy of ASHE

Attendees of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition had the opportunity to listen in on a panel discussion about the latest Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation affecting health care’s physical environment.

Jonathan Flannery, MHSA, CHFM, FASHE, FACHE, led the morning discussion, and was joined by John Williams, program manager, construction review services, Washington State Department of Health; Michael Crowley, P.E., FASHE, FSPFE, vice president of Jensen Hughes; and Caecilia Blondiaux, regulations coordinator at the Quality, Safety & Oversight Group in the CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. 

The experts addressed eight CMS memos ranging on topics from emergency preparedness and fire safety evaluation to ligature risks and cyber protections. Blondiaux said that attendees can expect further guidance regarding ligature risk coming from CMS possibly as early as Friday or Monday. The guidance will be posted on its website.

In addition to providing additional clarifications on recent CMS Certification and Survey letters, the panel offered practical advice to facilities that can help accreditation surveys go smoother, such as preparing user-friendly physical or electronic binders containing thorough compliance records.

During the session, Flannery encouraged facilities professionals to partner with community and public health experts when developing emergency preparedness plans. Blondiaux said that resources from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response can help hospitals in their emergency preparedness implementation and training.

Following the morning session Chad Beebe, AIA, CHFM, CFPS, CBO, FASHE, deputy executive director, ASHE, led a Just Ask ASHE Codes and Standards Forum. Jonathan Hart, P.E., principal engineer, National Fire Protection Association; Susan McLaughlin, MBA, FASHE, CHFM, CHSP, COO of MSL Healthcare Partners; Michael Meteyer, P.E., LEED AP, mechanical engineering manager, Erdman; David Stymiest, PE, CHFM, CHSP, FASHE, senior consultant, Smith Seckman Reid Inc.; and Bill Koffel, P.E., FSFPE, president, Koffel Associates Inc. will be joined Beebe as they answered attendees’ questions on codes and standards related to health care facilities.

Kara Brooks, MS, LEED AP BD+C, sustainability program manager at ASHE, will be leading a group of approximately 45 facilities professionals on an Energy Star Treasure Hunt this afternoon. The group will be traveling to Seattle’s Northwest Hospital & Medical Center to identify low-cost energy savings opportunities. The opportunities can touch on anything related to behavioral, operational or maintenance actions that can help to save energy.

Catch up on earlier coverage of the conference from Day 1 and Day 2.