A year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic was just getting underway, and we had no idea how long it would last. In the following months, folks were asked to work from home or to stop working altogether; our connections became virtual and our circles much smaller. In many different ways, lives were disrupted. 

And, despite that disruption, many of us working in health care were asked to do what we could — and often to do more than what we reasonably could — to contain it. Most of us did our best, quickly problem-solving and innovating to keep things running. Many lives were saved as a result. We did it for the same reasons we do our jobs when things are “normal” — to support our patients, team members and communities. 

Adaptation to emergent circumstances without sacrificing values is an essential characteristic of a good health care professional, and I’m enormously proud to have seen that characteristic shine across members of the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE). You, our health care facilities professionals, are the power source behind our functioning hospitals. 

Unlike a year ago, we have multiple vaccines that are rolling out to communities across the country as I write this. Because of that, the virus now has the potential to shrink from global pandemic to something more clinically manageable in nature.

That does not mean the time for vigilance and innovation is coming to a close. We need to stay engaged with our determination to continuously improve and optimize the environment of care. We should remain aware of recently developed tools and resources, and implement lessons learned from the past year to enhance our emergency preparedness and surge procedures. We should remember where codes helped us succeed during this emergency, and where they left us faltering, as we continue to advocate. 

If you haven’t done it already, I encourage you to check out ASHE’s frequently updated COVID-19 resource page. ASHE will continue to be here to support you, no matter what the future brings.