One of the most challenging aspects of health care facilities management is that it supports the intersection of two trends evolving at warp speed: health care and sustainability. Their rapid development requires us to construct facilities that can quickly and easily adapt to changes in technology and best practices. It is our responsibility to provide patients with the best health care possible, while also understanding that our energy usage will affect the communities we share with them.

In this issue, our cover story explores aspects of health care design and construction for energy efficiency. I encourage you to read this article to better understand how your future projects would benefit by incorporating recent trends in sustainability and health care construction.

But don’t think you have to wait for a future project to begin reducing your facility’s energy consumption. The American Society for Health Care Engineering’s (ASHE’s) Energy to Care program, which has been around since 2006, is a free and confidential program dedicated to helping health care facilities professionals reduce their facilities’ energy use, allowing their organizations to invest more in patient care. By August of this year, the program had facilitated over $400 million in energy savings across 3,575 facilities. These health care dollars are now available for patient care.

Last month, ASHE launched its upgraded dashboard for Energy to Care participants. While still allowing facilities to track, manage and communicate their energy savings, the new dashboard offers a range of benefits, including a clean and simple interface, customized information for American Hospital Association/ASHE members, ENERGY STAR® data options, energy and cost data widgets, and other automated and real-time tools. One particularly exciting aspect of the new dashboard is its utility bill fault detection, which can automatically identify and alert users to missing or duplicative energy bills as well as significant increases in monthly energy consumption and cost. 

Visit the website for more information about Energy to Care or to sign up for. I hope you will take a few minutes to explore this excellent program, review your facility’s energy usage and prepare to take the steps to improve patient care and global health for today and tomorrow.