The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) has created dozens of tools beneficial to its membership over the past decade. Some of the tools created in the past few years by the ASHE Member Tools Task Force can be located on a noninteractive PDF at ashe.org/mttf. The tools range from worksheets to document activities, to compliance crosswalks and checklists that merely provide information to the user; while others, such as a risk assessment tool, require the user to enter information into the tool to produce an output.
One example is the Backlog Analysis Tool, which is an Excel file used to determine if the life cycle of a piece of equipment can be extended and when it should be replaced. The tool is pre-populated with example analyses of a hospital and two medical office buildings of varying ages. The user of the tool must modify the data by entering information about their buildings being assessed as well as the equipment assets’ types and ages to perform the analysis.
Another example of a tool that must be modified by the user is the ASHE Wet Location Tool. The tool is intended to provide a framework for a risk analysis to determine if an operating room (OR) should be considered a wet procedure location. The tool asks a series of “Yes” or “No” questions and then generates an associated score for each question. It is important that the organization’s committee or staff person responsible for OR operations reviews the scoring system to ensure it is acceptable. The tool contains a tab labeled “customize” that allows the user to modify the scoring values for each question and has an additional row to add another question and associated scoring value. It is important to understand that while the tool provides the method to generate the risk analysis, it does not perform the risk analysis.
When using one of ASHE’s tools, it is recommended to review the entire tool prior to use. There may be instruction tabs or other information on how the tool is intended to be used or that discuss limitations where it is not applicable to specific situations or arrangements.