50 percent of the treasure hunt participants should be from the facility itself.

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Creating ideal teams for an Energy Star Treasure Hunt is important for success. Health facility professionals should consider these guidelines:

  • Overall, about half of the participants in a treasure hunt should be from the facility itself, 25 percent from other sites within the health care organization and 25 percent from outside the system, according to Bruce Bremer, president of Bremer Energy Consulting Services Inc. and an expert on treasure hunts. Having a large percentage of the teams come from the organization itself helps ensure that the hunt is not viewed as an externally driven event.
  • It is helpful if each team includes somebody who has participated in a treasure hunt before. Ideally, this person should be enthusiastic about the treasure hunt concept and be able to energize the rest of the team.
  • Each team should include at least one person from the facility who is highly knowledgeable about the areas that particular team will investigate. This person will provide access and be able to answer questions.
  • Local contractors, such as electrical suppliers and HVAC firms, also should be invited to participate on the teams, because they can offer suggestions in their areas of specialty. In addition, the internal staff can describe problems they are having to these experts and solicit their opinions on fixes, explained Patrick Costello, manager of energy and sustainability at OSF HealthCare.
  • Representatives from local utilities are also good team members. Often, they can identify projects that may generate incentive rebates, and can help the facility to properly apply for those rebates.
  • Consider including nonfacility personnel on the staff, such as nurses or administrators. They will provide a different view of each area.
  • When feasible, include someone from the hospital’s public relations department who can take photos and notes, and publicize the event afterward.

Ed Avis is a freelance writer based in Chicago.