If you were able to join us in San Antonio last month for the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition, I hope you enjoyed the many opportunities to reconnect with colleagues and took advantage of the excellent educational sessions, keynote message and networking events. After 60 years, the conference continues to grow and evolve as the health care environment embraces continuous innovation. 

In alignment with evolving and optimizing, we also learned the exciting news about ASHE’s Health Care Facilities Innovation Conference. This refresh of our ASHE Annual Conference is not just a change in branding but also a reaffirmation of ASHE’s commitment to its members, as the change is inspired and informed by the ways that health facilities leaders turn toward novel solutions to face challenges and advance our field every day. 

Health Facilities Management magazine celebrates innovation in the many ways that it intersects our field, with stories centering on new developments in health care construction, facilities management and engineering. The ingenuity and resourcefulness behind these successes remind us that we must continue to stay ahead of environmental sustainability, proposed legislation and other forces, even while navigating rapidly rising costs that outpace our ability to fund them. 

As technology shapes our future, our approach to patient care cannot be limited to methods that have been successful in the past. Patient demographics are shifting, and our built environments must reflect our patients’ changing needs. Certainly, automation and machine learning will continue to become more prevalent in the way health care is delivered. But none of what we build and operate can be successful without competent and caring people.

The questions become: How do we hire people for roles that may not exist yet? How do we ensure that current employees are equipped to adapt and become experts in new technology? Staying involved, sharing information and continuing to learn are a few ways that ASHE members will continue to succeed. 

Ultimately, innovation is fueled by people, and there is no better way to ensure that innovation translates into better care than by supporting one another and remaining aligned in our mission.