If you attended the International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction (PDC Summit) last month in Phoenix, I want to thank you for the lively discussions, exciting exchange of ideas and collaborative energy! Your commitment and creativity in improving health care facilities is a driving force advancing our field. 

Regardless of role, the work Health Facilities Management readers and American Society for Health Care Engineering members do inspire efficiency, safety and health in our communities. If you need an example of this, just take a look at our Vista Award winners, who have worked together on innovative solutions to improve health care facilities. You can read more about them in the article on page 30. As we move forward to reimagine and optimize the health care physical environment, it is important to remind ourselves that the work we do impacts the lives of patients and health care professionals daily. Our profession is focused on people — on their health, safety and happiness.

This focus should be top of mind as we strategize to design physical environments that can reduce and control infection. Design, engineering and environmental services can help reduce health care-associated infections. Reducing these infections is a challenge, but it is achievable. By working with other health care professionals, we can design new physical environments that eliminate barriers to proper hand hygiene, improper air balancing and cross-contamination issues. Check out the two-part cover story on page 18 to learn more about efforts to create safer spaces.

As we all know, our goal to reduce or eliminate infections is one of many factors that must be considered in achieving safe facility design. Facility maintenance, security, daily operations and emergency procedures are also some of many components professionals in our field must integrate into their designs to ensure the safety of every individual in the facility.

We are all invested in the health and safety of our families, communities and health systems. Our engagement in the issues, along with our commitment and energy, will continue to drive this impressive effort in bringing our field to the forefront of health care innovation. 

Dean M. Pufahl, CHFM, CHC, ASHE President