Health care facilities are as unique as the people they house, so it is nearly impossible to identify one-size-fits-all procedures in health facilities management. I discussed this in a 2017 article for the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) titled “The measurement of a health care facility manager: How do you define success?” 

However, there are fundamental concepts and best practices that can — and should — be shared across the field and adapted to each facility by professionals. We need to cut our practices from the same cloth and tailor them to suit our facilities’ distinct needs. For the safety of our patients and the sanity of our peers, no one should have to start from scratch.

ASHE strives to address the need for standardization through our exhaustive advocacy efforts, ever-expanding educational offerings and events where thought leaders share best practices. But our field has long been missing a central location where such standards can be housed: a health care facilities management body of knowledge. 

With that in mind, I am excited to announce that over the next few years, ASHE plans to release a trailblazing series of health care facilities management handbooks, cultivating a body of knowledge in the following topics: planning, design and construction; compliance; risk; maintenance and operations; finance; administration; sustainability; and qualifications. By producing these valuable publications with associated education, ASHE aims to not only establish an authoritative documentation of essential baseline information, but also to raise awareness of facilities management as a necessary function in health care and as an attractive career option for young professionals. 

The first book in the series, Introduction to Health Care Facilities Management by Skip Smith, Tim Adams and Chad E. Beebe, provides an orientation to the field along with tips and anecdotes from experts (including remarks by 2019 ASHE President Dean Pufahl). It will be available for purchase in print and digital versions at the ASHE store.

We hope that you will take advantage of this new resource and those to follow — and that you will let us know what you think!