Dear SMSHE Membership:
During this unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, our healthcare engineers are being challenged beyond all expectations.  Indeed, these are the times that test us.  These are also the times that demonstrate the vital role that healthcare engineers play in supporting patient-care outcomes.

We have an opportunity to be calm in the storm. Both in our professional lives, as well as in our personal lives.  As healthcare engineers, we owe it to our patients, colleagues, and vendor partners to provide professional disciplined management of our hospitals.

As our clinicians do their best to assure excellent patient-care outcomes, they depend on Facilities Management professionals and our trusted vendor partners to provide the best Environment of Care for our patients.

Many of our facility management leaders are dully assigned the role of the Safety Officer, and at times they have specific Emergency Management responsibilities.  Those that wear these multiple hats are challenged on multiple fronts.

During this crisis, every one of our hospitals has stood up their Incident Command centers.  All our hospitals are required to have an extensive policy referred to as the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).  The EOP serves as the structure that our folks are now depending on as they manage these crises.

Our facility engineer leaders manage every square inch of our hospitals, both inside and out.  Given the breadth of that responsibility, the good work that our engineers and their vendor partners are doing is directly impacting patient outcomes.

These are some of the additional activities that our facility engineer leaders are tasked with during this crisis:

-Emergency management Incident Command Safety Officer or Section Chief
-Reduce hospital entry points–control human traffic
-Add vehicle traffic control
-Add traffic control signage
-Set up emergency tents and parking-lot patient test sites
-Add heating, lighting, electrical and communication for parking lot test sites
-Create and manage Isolation rooms and negative pressure rooms/areas
-Install air scrubbers and other air filter elements
-Repurpose rooms/areas for Covid-19 patient care use

The American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE) website has developed many facility management-based tools that are helpful in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thank you all for your tireless dedication.  Like you, I look forward to the end of this crisis.  I also look forward to the lessons we will learn to become even better at what we do.

Your SMSHE President,