Anyone who has participated in a new health care construction project, major renovation or infrastructure overhaul understands the importance of teamwork. To truly meet an organization's needs, those involved with project planning, design and construction of a facility must work together toward common goals.
The Vista Awards celebrate this team approach to projects. Since 1993, the Vista Awards have recognized teams that work together to develop and maintain safe, high-quality health care environments; demonstrate effective and efficient communication; and rely on data-based decision-making.
It's important to note that these are not awards for health care design. Instead, the program focuses on key stakeholders who work together and overcome obstacles for the success of a project.
The awards are given in three categories:
New construction. This award is given to a team that worked to build a new facility, essentially from the ground up. New facilities may be connected to existing facilities, but the new construction must be a new space with its own identity.
Renovation. This award is given to a team that worked to alter existing conditions or added space to existing structures. The original building envelope remains essentially intact during projects considered in this category.
Infrastructure. This award is given to a team that worked to modify or replace major portions of the utility generation, distribution or control systems. To be considered for this category, projects must involve significant planning.
Previous Vista Awards winners have demonstrated the value of teamwork in overcoming obstacles to create an optimal health care environment.
The team celebrated for new construction in 2013, for example, overcame several challenges to build a new patient care tower at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Wash., including a city zoning height limit, extreme site conditions and even an electrical fire in the starter panel of a chiller (fortunately, the fire was discovered quickly and damage was limited).
The team that won the 2013 Vista Award for a renovation of the third floor of John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital in Phoenix had to meet a very tight time frame. To minimize noise for postsurgical patients on the floor above construction, the team created a plan including noise-reduction kits (radios with ear buds, ear plugs and an explanation of how the hospital was growing), hourly construction breaks, and visits from design and construction staff to answer questions and address complaints.
And the team that won the 2013 Vista Award for infrastructure focused on energy-efficiency while working on the Swedish Issaquah (Wash.) central utility plant. The team assigned a full-time energy engineer to be the "energy watchdog" for the project and teamed up with a third-party commissioning authority.
Have you worked on a project that included unique or notable team performance? Applications now are being accepted for the 2014 Vista Awards, and submissions must be received by Sept. 30. To learn more about the awards, visit www.ashe.org/vista.
By Deanna Martin, senior communications specialist for ASHE.
E2C program changes name
ASHE's Energy Efficiency Commitment (E2C) program has been recognizing energy-saving hospitals since 2006. Now the program is changing its name to the Energy Efficiency Challenge. In its new format, hospitals not only can track their own reductions in energy use, but also can compare and challenge other hospitals in their systems or geographical areas. For more information about the E2C program, visit the Sustainability Roadmap website at www.sustainabilityroadmap.org/E2C.
ASHE Blog offers free subscription service
The ASHE Blog keeps members up-to-date on the latest developments affecting the health care physical environment. The blog also offers a free subscription service so that members can get posts delivered directly to their email inboxes. To sign up for this service, visit www.ashe.org/blog, sign in and click "Subscribe" in the black bar near the top of the page.
Energy University classes open
ASHE, in partnership with Schneider Electric, recently rolled out Schneider's Energy University to ASHE members. ASHE has identified courses beneficial for facilities managers, energy managers and technicians. For more information, visit www.ashe.org.