The public health crisis of the past nine months has shone a spotlight on the tireless care that doctors, nurses, and other health professionals provide for patients. But another group of professionals is just as indispensable to ensuring a safe and efficient environment for patients, staff, and visitors: the facilities management team.

The facilities management team keeps hospitals and other healthcare facilities in ideal condition for patient care. They understand the building’s design and equipment – both medical and non-medical, which includes computers, elevators, and healthcare devices. They oversee renovations. They ensure the facility adheres to state and federal codes and maintain the facility’s certification. They are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the facility – maintenance, groundskeeping, hazardous material disposal. In short, they are the engine that keeps the facility operating.

Given the amount of challenges facilities management teams have faced in 2020, for National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week we asked facilities managers we work with at our clients: What is the one thing you would tell your 2019 self that would have better prepared you for 2020?

“Continue to work to be prepared for any situation that could come your way, and continue with steps to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.” – Calvin Reed, Novant Health

“Be prepared for the unexpected.” – Keith Einsmann, CHFM Director of Facility Services, Deerfield

“One of my favorite sayings that has become more meaningful to me in the last eight months is, ‘Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can.’ None of us in facilities management knows what will happen tomorrow, but we must be as prepared as possible to meet whatever comes our way. Be flexible and surround yourself with excellent personnel.” – Butch Moore, Plan Operations Manager, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System

“Remember all of that pandemic planning you did? Well, this one is different!” – Matthew H. Stiene, PE, CHFM, Vice President Construction and Engineering, Novant Health