As health care facilities professionals, we are required to expect — and be well prepared for — the unexpected. This includes adapting to rapidly evolving technology and security threats, reinforcing our facilities against weather events, and constantly reviewing and modifying our response to COVID-19, while also preparing for future pandemics. To maintain patient and staff safety, our environments need to be flexible, robust and resilient all at the same time.
And each of us also needs to be flexible, robust and resilient in our approach to emergencies. The COVID-19 pandemic presents our field with challenges the likes of which we have never seen, and I see the ASHE family rising to meet those challenges. Our members are innovating, asking questions and using their most valuable resource: one another.
In my own spare moments, I have been so proud to see the conversations between my colleagues on My ASHE about not only what can be done at the moment to accommodate our communities, but also how we anticipate tackling similar events in the future. I also see gratitude, support and humor woven throughout these messages — human resiliency at its finest.
In this month’s issue, our cover story features resiliency in design. I encourage you to read this article and its timely sidebar on designing for pandemics. As many of you are already doing on My ASHE and elsewhere to determine best practices during an event defined by the unknown, when designing for resiliency it is imperative during planning, design and construction to invite feedback from a multidisciplinary team to better weigh various risks to the facility and its inhabitants.
We weather the storm by working together.
Hospitals and their professionals typically inspire a variety of reactions in community members: some feel hope, others perhaps fear or grief. But, in 2020, it is more critical than ever that we reinforce resiliency and recovery in our facilities. I thank each of you for keeping your lighthouse aglow during this storm as professionals and for keeping your spirits up as individuals. You are making a difference.