October 2022
A new analysis prepared by Kaufman, Hall & Associates and released by the American Hospital Association (AHA) shows that hospitals and health systems continue to face intense pressure on staff and resources while also dealing with rising expenses for supplies, drugs and equipment, as well as for the workforce. Left unaddressed, these financial challenges have the potential to jeopardize access to essential healthcare services for patients. The trends are expected to continue through 2022, with losses in the billions of dollars for hospitals and health systems, resulting in the most financially difficult year for the field since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.

The first half of 2022 has severely tested hospitals and health systems due to the impacts of Covid-19 surges, increased expenses and a lack of Covid-19 relief funding. As a result, even the most optimistic projections for the entirety of 2022 indicate margins will be down 37% compared to pre-pandemic levels, with more than half of hospitals operating in the red. Under a pessimistic scenario for the rest of 2022, margins could be down as much as 133% compared to pre-pandemic levels, with over two-thirds of hospitals operating in the red.

Dirty cooling towers in your HVAC system cause massive loss of efficiency but can also cause severe health issues for anyone within proximity. Studies have shown that microdroplets from cooling towers are known to travel up to 5 miles, which means that any visitor within that proximity could be exposed to dangerous bacteria.

Cleaning towers of legionella breeding sludge is a smart, simple way to limit bacterial growth.
The Goodway CTV-1501 cooling tower vacuum allows for the quick removal of mud, silt and debris from cooling tower basins, reducing the environment where bacteria, like legionella, thrive.

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In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its plans to engage and inform communities, states, Tribes, Territories, and stakeholders about up-to-date information on the risks posed by air emissions of ethylene oxide (EtO) from commercial medical sterilizers, as well as EPA’s efforts to address these risks.

EPA is releasing new information on specific sterilization facilities where lifetime risk levels are the highest to people who live nearby and is encouraging impacted communities to participate in a series of public engagements to learn more. Later this year, EPA expects to propose an air pollution regulation to protect public health by addressing EtO emissions at commercial sterilizers.

by Sara Marberry In an interview on “60 Minutes,” President Biden declared the Covid-19 pandemic to be over. Maybe he was taking a cue from the World Health Organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ph.D., who said earlier this month that the end was in sight.

That got me thinking. “Pandemic” is a word we hear often, but do we really know what it means?
Webster’s definition that a pandemic is “an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area (such as multiple countries or continents) and typically affects a significant proportion of the population.”

Covid-19 is never going away
So if more than 1,400 people worldwide are still dying of Covid every day, is the pandemic over? Many physicians don’t believe this to be true. I’m not sure I do either. What I do believe is that Covid-19 is never going away, and we will have to manage it just like we manage other airborne infectious diseases like the flu, measles, and tuberculosis, including designing for infection control. And let’s not forget about healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs).

Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health system, has implemented new comprehensive detection screening systems that screen for weapons and contraband at the entrances of Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, and Lenox Health Greenwich Village in Manhattan as part of an effort to bring the weapon-detection technology to all hospitals in the health system. The seamless walk-through system, Evolv Express, from Massachusetts-based Evolv Technology, allows for a touchless experience while screening for weapons. The screening process, monitored at each location by Northwell’s security team, is immediate and designed to avoid bottlenecking and slow lines associated with older detection screening processes and technologies.

Gun safety campaign for kids
Guns are now the leading cause of death for kids, and 13 children die from guns every day nationwide. To encourage parents to take action and become part of the solution by asking about gun safety, Northwell Health created a print, broadcast and digital public awareness campaign. 1,000+ hospitals and health associations, including the American Hospital Association, Children’s Hospital Association and The Catholic Health Association of the United States, have joined this gun safety movement and are sharing the campaign’s message with their communities across America.

With the average American spending 90% of their time indoors, it’s not just our bodily health that we need to consider, but the health of our built environment: the buildings we live and work in, day in, day out. 

Why? A healthy building has a significant impact on the mental and physical health of its occupants, on building running and maintenance costs and on achieving environmental targets. Creating a healthy built environment the smart way, with cutting-edge, integrated technology will help you reap these rewards and foster a happier, healthier and more productive workplace, reminds Infogrid, creator of the Healthy Buildings System IoT and AI platform.

What is a healthy building?
According to researchers at Harvard University, a building can be called "healthy" if it satisfies the following nine criteria:
  1. Good air quality: Levels of pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) should be minimized and humidity levels controlled. 
  2. Sufficient ventilation: The guidelines for outdoor air quality should be met or exceeded. Outside air should be filtered.
  3. A comfortable temperature: Indoor temperature should be stabilized and maintained at a comfortable level throughout the working day. 

Fast reads . . .
Healthcare Design magazine in partnership with the Center for Health Design and The Healthcare Design Conference + Expo announce the winners of the Nightingale Awards — the industry’s leading program to recognize products related to the healthcare built environment that are named for Florence Nightingale. 

The Nightingale Awards are directed by Eileen McMorrow, editor, The McMorrow Reports, who recruits the jury of healthcare facilities professionals, architects and interior designers who evaluate the products before the show opens. 

The Nightingale Best of Competition Award, Gold Award, and Innovation Award in Storage & Accessories went to Zippsafe for ZippSpace Pro.

Highlights among the winners of the 2022 Nightingale Awards are:

  • An Innovation Award in Architectural Products: Non-Clinical to Accurate Lock and Hardware for Crescent Magnetic Latch Suite 
  • Sustainability Awards in Carpet to Mohawk Group for Fractal Fluency & Social Canvas 
  • The Gold Award in Seating: Guest/Lounge to OM Seating for Plot Twist
  • An Innovation Award in Seating: Patient to Wieland Healthcare for The Soul Collection
  • The Gold Award in Furniture: Clinician Support to Vaask for Vaask
  • The Silver Award and a Sustainability Award in Surfacing Materials & Finishes goes to Kwalu for Anti-Aging Furniture Surfaces

Will Webster, Western regional vice president and SME for ABM Facility Services, met with Eileen McMorrow, editor-in-chief, The McMorrow Reports and FMLink, to discuss how ABM Engineering+ delivers more value through comprehensive, customized solutions and specialized technical services. Corporations, healthcare systems and higher-education institutions are challenged to find trained and qualified engineers to operate and maintain facilities. With more than 10,000 on-site engineers and 1,750 maintenance technicians on the road, ABM is one of the largest providers of on-site engineering solutions in the U.S. ABM’s team answers questions about how it provides its unique-to-the-industry solutions.

Does ABM provide support 24/7, allowing in-house staff to have specialists available outside regular business hours?
Will Webster: We’re unique to the industry because we have an entire team that provides infrastructure solutions. Our call center operates 24/7, allowing us to respond rapidly to our clients’ needs. When you are an ABM client and there is an outage or an unexpected failure, you can rely on our team to be on site and working to resolve the issue quickly. This results in your facility’s condition returning to normal as soon as possible.

Employers across the globe are facing similar challenges as it relates to their facility management (FM) workforce. How can you recruit new team members and what if they’re new to FM? What are the best strategies for retaining current team members? How can you elevate your FM teams with enhanced FM knowledge and skills?

The ROI of FM Training is an eBook that explores these challenges and the ways in which training and upskilling can help you meet your goals. See current research and real-world examples to illustrate the ROI of FM Training. Current FM Trends detailed include the talent shortage, FM skills gap and shift in space management for hybrid work options.

The eBook’s resources include the American Upskilling Study by Gallup in 2021 and the 2022 FM Training Outlook Survey by the Professional Facility Management Institute (ProFMI). The value of FM training and upskilling is detailed with graphics, such as:
  • Top 4 Benefits of FM Training and Credentials, as Identified by Managers
  • Top 4 Benefits of FM Training and Credentials, as Identified by Employees

A study by researchers at GOJO Industries that was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (ICHE) demonstrates that healthcare facilities that actively partner with their automated hand hygiene monitoring system vendor are able to achieve greater improvement in hand hygiene performance — a backbone of infection control programs.

The study, The impact of automated hand hygiene monitoring with and without complementary improvement strategies on performance rates, was published online on August 22 in ICHE. Hand hygiene performance rates were estimated using the PURELL Smartlink Activity Monitoring System and showed greater sustained increases in hand hygiene performance when the hospital worked in collaboration with the vendor to implement the system and initiate complementary improvement interventions.

Education sessions and Product Zones are the most important reason to attend NFMT Remix in Las Vegas, November 2-3.

For Pro and Elite attendees, there are 60-minute sessions focused on foundational principals of Facilities Management. The key trends of technology, safety and sustainability tend to be cross-functional and have a major impact on overall facilities strategies. These sessions are geared as more introductory sessions. Think Tanks, for Elite attendees, are 60-minute informal discussions focused around either a specific building type or trend. This will allow you to network with your peers in a small group environment. Attendees can pull up a chair and ask your questions to like-minded facilities managers from around the country. Each roundtable will have an official moderator to help guide the conversation.

Concurrent Sessions run on Wednesday and Thursday, while Product Zone Sessions are featured during the Expo hours between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Women in FM panel and a reception conclude Wednesday’s activities.