As we celebrate Healthcare Facilities and Engineering Week and reflect on the 2020 theme “Heroes of Health Care Facilities,” the effects of COVID-19 in our communities is at the forefront.
When the pandemic hit with full force last spring, it was clear that facilities teams would have a huge role in keeping patients (and the people who care for them) safe. Pretty quickly responsibilities increased from “the usual” to include pandemic-specific requirements. Many of you sprang into action adjusting pressure differentials that created negative pressure rooms or units, readying patients’ room or wings that were long-vacant, and securing additional N95 masks and other needed PPE. You were ready to meet the challenges each day – just like the frontline workers directly caring for patients.
Your facilities teams also made sure emergency power, medical gases, and other critical utilities were ready during these crucial times. And because the pandemic threw capital and expense budgets off course, you addressed financial and staffing issues with hospital leadership as to not sacrifice care.
Providing for the proper environment of care is tough under normal operating conditions. Most of 2020 has been far from that and yet you and your teams, Heroes of Health Care Facilities, rose to ever-changing challenges in the face of COVID-19. After eight months you are still fighting this horrible virus every day. We know you wear masks daily, but this year you also deserve capes.