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"I Wear a Whole Bunch of Hats"

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“Hospital facility directors know Environment of Care and The Joint Commission, but you take them out of that environment and they have not developed the skill set to succeed. The world as they know it is going to change, and that is a risky proposition for them.” 

Accurate quote. Stinging quote. Incorrect quote. Your perception may depend on your position. But the quotes implication, expressed to me by a VP at a large healthcare system, is clear: Change is here. More change is coming. Different skill-sets are needed. The facilities professionals who maintain chillers in the summer and boilers in the winter know change has arrived, and are now compelled to add new skills to their ties and tool belts. 

Acute care farmed out to sophisticated suburban satellite facilities. Electronic Intensive Care Units (eICUs) monitoring patient care miles from the point of care. Collaborative design processes providing a voice for all staff. C-Suites emphasizing benchmarks and metrics. To survive, directors must be able to engage in complex environments with multiple constituents.

Change has been dramatic and constant. As Jack and I develop our change management seminar for the ASHE annual, I can’t help but recall a director’s comment made to me while we discussed the State of the Industry: "I wear a whole bunch of hats and it’s only getting worse."

Facilities management remains filled with competing interests. Directors are ethically responsible for the lives of patients, visitors, and employees, while under pressure to reduce operating expenses, budgets, risk, and FTEs. Are funds spent repairing a trip-hazard of a parking lot or improperly done fire-stopping? Is facility operating capital redirected to buy the latest da Vinci robot and lure a prominent surgeon? These issues are today’s reality.   

Change management traces its infancy to 1962. Despite a half-century of discussion on change concepts, research indicates that 75% of change initiatives fail. We want to hear your change insights, successes, and stories. Are you a change advocate or roadblock?

Please tell us below, thank you.

Peter Martin

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