Because the wide range of codes and standards regulating health care facilities is complex and often difficult to understand — even for experts — American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) members are likely to need some help keeping pace with the quickly evolving regulations.
To assist, ASHE has established a Member Tools Task Force to evaluate the compliance issues most important to members and create online tools accessible on the ASHE website and discussed in a series of articles in Health Facilities Management magazine.
Established in 2018, the task force has quickly expanded its library of tools and resources, says Frank D. Rudilosso, PE, M.Eng, CHSP, director of facilities regulatory readiness, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, who serves as the current chair of the task force.
“Resources have grown quickly in just two years. Last year, we published 15 articles and developed 15 tools, and this year we are on track to publish 25 articles,” Rudilosso says. “Basically, we want to give members resources they can access right away to take the guesswork out of the complicated compliance issues they face.”
Using ASHE’s Top 20 advocacy topics, the task force decides which issues to address and then finds subject matter experts to author articles and develop online tools. Members can download articles, spreadsheets and other resources.
Resources include a “Life Safety Decommissioning Tool,” which breaks down life safety features no longer required by code and makes recommendations to either decommission or maintain these features. Recently added, a “Nitrous Oxide Source: Evaluation Tool” helps users perform a risk assessment and develop a safety protocol to manage nitrous oxide use outside the operating room.
Members also can access a growing number of videos related to codes and standards compliance. One example: A video demonstrating how a member submits public comment for a National Fire Protection Association standard.
Along with educating ASHE members, these tools also promote engagement with the code process, which can sometimes feel overwhelming, Rudilosso says. “We want to get members involved and show them, ‘This is how you do it,’” he says. “These tools are meant to be easy to access and easy to follow.”
The full roster of ASHE Member Tools can be accessed via the ASHE Advocacy Tools webpage.