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5 Key Takeaways from ASHE Annual Conference

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This year’s ASHE Annual Conference is over. I had a great time speaking this year on a couple of panels and gained invaluable insight from other speakers at the conference. 

With all my years of experience as a facility director and Joint Commission surveyor, I came away with a few great nuggets worth sharing. Some of these will be no surprise to you, but are great reminders. My list is not necessarily in order of importance. 

  1. COVID-19 – Obviously, this was a focal point at the conference. It was interesting to hear the different approaches and opinions concerning the pandemic. The overall theme I heard was what future changes will occur because of the pandemic. Areas already in the process of changing include future building design and parr levels of PPE. Unfortunately, this is still an area of confusion since the upcoming 2022 Joint Commission Emergency Preparedness EP’s have not been released yet. Plan on many changes in this area dealing with a long-term pandemic. 
  2. Electronic Documentation – During one of the speaking sessions, someone asked how many people are in the process of utilizing electronic documentation. Approximately 50% of the room raised their hand, which is surprising since there has not been much talk about transitioning to electronic documentation in years prior. It was apparent that facility directors and hospital leaders are looking for new ways to make their departments more efficient. 
  3. Changes in Hospital Policies - This topic was exclusively related to visitor and staff management, specifically relating to vaccinations. On session breaks, many conversations happened regarding  vaccination requirements for staff and/or visitors. Many facilities are contemplating requiring everyone to be vaccinated. This area became a hot topic of discussion since prior vaccinations, specifically related to the flu shot, required unvaccinated staff to just wear masks. 
  4. Water Management Plan – Previous Joint Commission standards provided a high-level overview of the water management plan. New standards in 2022 will be implemented that are more detailed regarding the water management plan. Changes include ensuring a team is implemented to oversee the plan, more detailed plans that also identify dead ends, testing schedules, and PPM limits. 
  5. Workforce Changes – During multiple sessions, facility directors and hospital leaders raised concerns about the retiring, aging workforce and having a hard time replacing positions with experienced trades. This was commonly referred to as the “Silver Tsunami.” The main concern was how to recruit the younger workforce and provide a long-lasting, stable career. Strategies were discussed on how to make the trade more alluring to a younger, more technology-based workforce. 

Hopefully, my key takeaways give you some “food for thought” regarding future trends for your facility.  My hope is you can start anticipating those areas now and proactively make adjustments as needed. I am sure some of these areas will still be focal points next year, but who knows what the future holds for us. Please remember to use our Facility Compliance Think Tank network to ask your facility-related questions. Your questions are confidential. They are easy to access with our form and online at: https://www.soleran.com/compliance-resources/think-tank.

We look forward to seeing everyone next year at the ASHE Annual Conference in Boston!

5 Key Takeaways from ASHE Annual Conference

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