Volume 54  |  Fall 2006

President’s Message
Room of Horrors
WSSHE Recognition

President’s Message:

Fellow Members,
As we enter the 2006 holiday season and prepare for the year ahead I would like to take time to thank you for the confidence you have shown in allowing me to lead the organization into and through 2007. The momentum of the organization is at full steam ahead as planning for both education and advocacy efforts are well underway. I feel confident as I had stated at the annual conference that 2007 will be as exciting and productive as 2006.

I would like to use this forum to inform you of issues and opportunities that are leading our planning for education and advocacy into the next year.

1) Energy Management:

ASHE, Energy Star, and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance have asked for WSSHE to support development of, test, and lead the Pacific Northwest in implementing their respective organizations strategic energy management initiatives.

NEEA has created a program designed to support the development of a strategic energy master plan for healthcare organizations. In early December ten WSSHE – member hospitals will meet with NEEA to review, tune, and assist in planning the introduction of these materials to hospital facility and engineering programs throughout the State. The ten hospitals were chosen by region, demographic, and size, to ensure the information can be utilized by all engineering and facility departments’ state wide. If given the opportunity and after the approval of the supporting member hospitals, NEEA would like to take the program and integrate training sessions into the respective chapters training and education schedules.

ASHE and Energy Star have partnered together with what is referred to as the E2C (Energy Efficiency Commitment) Program. E2C is sharing of fundamental concepts, real data, proven strategies, financial tools, and local success stories by ASHE members. It can provide you the expert knowledge of where to dig to uncover the energy savings inherent in your building design and operations with the minimum goal of saving your organization 10% or more in utility costs.

After reviewing both programs thoroughly I see real value in merging the two initiatives. Both programs are good on there own but together they provide a complete package that includes- training and education, implementation tools and tracking programs, best practices and support networks, and most importantly like-in-kind facility comparison resources.

I have contacted both Dale Woodin, Executive Director of ASHE and Jennifer Stout, Market Manager for NEEA, and have asked that ASHE, the EPA, Energy Star, and NEEA meet to discuss the opportunity for a joint program that can be supported by WSSHE in 2007 and possibly 2008. All parties seemed genuinely supportive of the idea and preliminary discussions have begun about a meeting in December.

2) DOH Advocacy:

Within the next three weeks the final draft revised WAC regulation (with all the changes from the public comment process) should be distributed for public comment. We will put a small committee together to review the recommended changes and then formulate a plan for our next direction.

There are significant issues at stake, for example the state may continuing their past approach to survey our organizations while allowing the surveyor the opportunity to cite us on retroactive application of new construction standards (such as fire dampers, tamper resistant outlets, etc). This is very rarely done with other state agencies, CMS, or JCAHO and is never done without significant research, testing, data collection, specific dates for program integration, and significant debate.

The draft document will be posted on the DOH website in the same section as the report on proposals and comments. If you are interested in joining the review panels please reach out to me or any board member and we will contact you with our meeting plans.

3) Annual State Life Safety Inspections:

The State Fire Marshal is expressing interest in creating an annual inspection of our facilities in lieu of life safety inspections by the DOH licensing surveyors.

Even though I am an advocate for firm life safety standards, the additional inspection would require additional unjustified coordination resources from our facilities. JCAHO and their unannounced survey process, DOH and their annual inspections, and our local fire marshals have done a great job ensuring we are keeping our life safety standards at or even above code requirements. The financial costs for inspection fees and lost time allocated to the inspection are without merit, the existing agencies all have certified inspectors and the gaps between the existing surveys or inspections ensure an issue or violation will be caught quickly.

4) ASHE Membership:

WSSHE has maintained an impressive track record of obtaining the highest recognition within ASHE’s levels of affiliation program – gold. In 2007, our Region 10 Director Jody McQuade and I have challenged WSSHE to achieve platinum status. The key feature of platinum is that 60% of WSSHE's Full Members must also be in ASHE!!

At this time we have 56 WSSHE Members who are also ASHE members, out of a total eligible WSSHE members of 187. This is 30%, only half of the required platinum percentage of 60%. To reach platinum, we need another 60 WSSHE Full Members to become ASHE members in 2006. Each of us is strongly encouraged to recommend ASHE membership ($125/yr) to current WSSHE members. ASHE is and has been a great partner of ours and I strongly encourage you to look at their website: . I will admit it is my dream to become the first WSSHE president to reach this goal and I am aggressively seeking your support. Just write the check, I promise it is a significant investment in your facility, your leadership development, continuing education, and your advocacy and issue awareness.

As you can see your Board of Directors is hard at work preparing for great educational opportunities and important advocacy issues. We will continue to develop our relationship with NEEA, the EPA, ASHE, and the WSHA as we lead not only the State but also the country in both advocacy and education. There is always room for your involvement and I encourage you to join the charge as leadership at either the state or local level. Have a great end to 2006 and may God bless you and your families as we move into 2007.

Fraternally yours,
Stephen J. Grose, CHFM, President
Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering

Room of Horrors

Halloween is a scary time. St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute - Spokane, had the opportunity to visit a special “Room of Horrors” of their own. The spooky decorations included the usual Halloween fare of ghosts, goblins and cobwebs, but it also included a multitude of safety issues. The challenge for staff was to correctly identify as many potential safety issues as they possibly could. They were told that the safety issues could involve patient safety, infection control and environmental concerns. This was done so staff from all disciplines would be able to recognize some of the examples of safety deficiencies. Staff were encouraged to ask questions and work together to learn about the various issues demonstrated. They were asked to record their observations on a form that was provided.

The room was set up as a patient room with a mannequin in bed acting as the patient. Examples of safety concerns included: patient smoking in bed, O2 cannula was improperly placed, patient had no identification band, janitor’s cart was unattended with unlabeled chemical bottles, defective equipment was not identified properly (wrong tag, insufficient information), wrong type of fire extinguisher (BC instead of ABC), incorrect emergency flip chart and operator contact number.

Employees were told that at least 30 safety issues were in the room. One person creatively observed 52 potential safety concerns.

After completing the form, Halloween treats were provided to participants and their name was entered in a drawing for the grand prize. Our Grand prize was a gift card for gasoline.

The “Room of Horrors” was sponsored by the Safety Committee and was open for all three shifts. The “Room” was well attended and staff was very enthusiastic about the challenge and the learning opportunity.

WSSHE Recognition

Congratulations to the following WSSHE members for their work to achieve the following recognition and distinction:

Bruce Alward, Associate Member of the Year

Mike Kelly, Member of the Year

Ray Tiedemann, Legacy (lifetime of WSSHE service) Award Winner

The WSSHE NEWSLINE is published quarterly as a service to WSSHE Members. The purpose of the NEWSLINE is to promote the Society by sharing information of interest to the Members. Please send brief articles or information updates to the WSSHE Editor care of:

Geoffrey W. Glass PE, CHFM
Providence St. Peter Hospital
413 Lilly Road
Olympia, WA 98506-5166
FAX: 360-493-4043
Phone: 360-493-7722.