The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) relies on its membership to help with its advocacy efforts. Here are three ways ASHE members can get involved:
- Reply to requests for data. ASHE relies on data from members to guide its research. For example, the association recently sought information from members about the failure rate of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) because surveyors were citing members for not testing their GFCIs monthly, and advocates hypothesized that monthly testing may not be necessary. Eventually, ASHE gathered enough data to make statistically significant conclusions, but it came from only 16 hospitals. “We would have loved to have a few hundred hospitals participate,” says Jonathan Flannery, MHSA, FASHE, FACHE, senior associate director of advocacy.
- Talk to chapter leaders. Members should make sure their chapter leaders are aware of issues facing facilities managers, such as the need to update codes and standards. They should help chapter leaders spread the word about these issues among members and suggest ways the chapter can get involved in advocacy. Getting the whole chapter to participate in a letter-writing campaign, for example, can be an effective way to make local legislators aware of issues.
- Contact policymakers directly. Even though ASHE works with state and national policymakers on a regular basis, individual ASHE members also can work with their organizations and contact their representatives and let them know about issues they care about. “Contact your member of Congress and let them know that you work for a health care facility and you are concerned about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services utilizing outdated standards,” says Chad Beebe, AIA, CHFM, CFPS, CBO, FASHE, deputy executive director. “These old standards are putting patients, staff and visitors at risk, and every year that goes by that we don’t adopt more current standards is another year’s worth of experiences that we are not applying.”