In the constantly evolving landscape of Healthcare Facilities Management (HFM), professional growth is a journey marked by continuous learning and skill enhancement. At Gosselin/Martin Associates, we’re dedicated to guiding HFM professionals on this path. 

This blog post draws inspiration from one of our recent video discussions on our Healthcare Facilities Network. In the video discussion, one of the panelists, Taylor Vaughn of Children’s Health Dallas, mentions that obtaining CHFM – Certified Healthcare Facility Manager- certification was one of the best career moves she ever made. But given that it’s an extra undertaking in addition to taking on a new role, is it really right for new professionals? 

The insights shared here are designed to help professionals navigate the complexities and opportunities that certification offers in advancing their careers in healthcare facilities management.

The Value of CHFM Certification for Newcomers

Understanding Healthcare Codes and Regulations

“Understanding Healthcare Codes and Regulations” is a crucial section for newcomers in Healthcare Facilities Management (HFM) focusing on the CHFM certification. This section dives into the complexity of healthcare codes and regulations, which are not merely legal formalities but the cornerstone of safe, efficient, and responsible facility management.

These regulations encompass a wide range – to say the least – of often complex rules – from fire safety codes to patient privacy laws under HIPAA, and even environmental health standards. Mastery of these codes is essential for ensuring that healthcare facilities not only comply with legal standards but also uphold the highest levels of patient care and safety. 

The CHFM certification equips new professionals with the skills to interpret and apply these regulations effectively, ensuring their facility’s operations are both compliant and optimized for patient well-being.

Moreover, this understanding extends beyond mere compliance. It involves actively staying abreast of changes in laws and standards, a crucial aspect given the rapid evolution of healthcare technology and practices. 

This knowledge empowers newcomers to contribute meaningfully to policy discussions and compliance strategies within their organizations, positioning them as valuable assets in their facilities.

In essence, this section of the CHFM certification lays a foundational understanding of the regulatory landscape in healthcare, a must-have for any aspiring healthcare facility manager aiming to lead with confidence and integrity while also ensuring that the facility itself remains compliant in every aspect. 

Planning and Design in Healthcare Facilities Management 

The “Planning and Design in Healthcare Facilities” section of the CHFM certification is a deep dive into the critical elements of design and spatial planning in healthcare environments. It emphasizes the delicate balance between functionality, patient safety, and regulatory compliance. 

This segment teaches newcomers how facility design directly influences patient care and staff efficiency. They learn the importance of creating patient-centric designs that also accommodate the operational needs of healthcare staff.

The curriculum covers extensive ground, from the basics of layout planning to the complexities of integrating advanced healthcare technologies. This includes understanding how to optimize space for patient flow, ensuring easy accessibility, and incorporating technology in a way that enhances patient care and staff productivity. It also involves understanding the nuances of creating healing environments that support patient recovery while adhering to stringent health and safety standards.

Moreover, this training prepares new professionals for real-world challenges in facility design and renovation. They learn to make informed decisions, considering factors like sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and future scalability. 

By the end of this section of study, newcomers are not just aware of the principles of healthcare facility design but are also equipped to apply these principles in practical scenarios, ensuring their decisions are well-informed and aligned with the best practices in healthcare facilities management.

Infection Control Strategies 

“Infection Control Strategies” is another vital, if more complex, component of the CHFM certification, focusing on equipping new professionals with the knowledge to develop and implement robust infection control measures in healthcare facilities. This section is particularly crucial in the current healthcare landscape, where infection control has become a top priority due to recent global health events.

The CHFM certification curriculum delves into various strategies for infection prevention and control, emphasizing the importance of creating and maintaining a safe environment for both patients and staff. 

It covers topics such as the principles of microbiology, the modes of disease transmission, and the latest practices in environmental sanitation. Additionally, it explores the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), sterilization processes, and the development of infection control policies.

New professionals learn not only the theoretical aspects of infection control but also how to apply these strategies in practical scenarios. This includes conducting risk assessments, implementing infection control protocols, and responding to infection outbreaks effectively. 

The certification ensures that newcomers understand the critical role they play in maintaining high standards of cleanliness and hygiene in healthcare facilities, essential for patient safety and public health.

Operational Efficiency and Sustainability

The “Operational Efficiency and Sustainability” section of the CHFM certification curriculum is just as crucial for new professionals in Healthcare Facilities Management. This part of the course teaches them about the critical aspects of running a healthcare facility efficiently while emphasizing the importance of environmental sustainability. 

Topics covered include energy management, which involves learning how to optimize energy usage in facilities to reduce costs and environmental impact, and waste reduction strategies, which are essential for minimizing the ecological footprint of healthcare operations. 

This training is not only about acquiring technical skills but also about developing a mindset focused on sustainable practices. In today’s world, where environmental concerns are increasingly at the forefront, this knowledge is indispensable for any healthcare facility manager aiming to run their facility responsibly and sustainably.

Emergency Preparedness and Risk Management

The “Emergency Situations and Risk Management” section of the CHFM certification is vital for preparing newcomers in Healthcare Facilities Management for various emergency scenarios. Knowledge that anyone would hope they never have to put into practice but should be aware of. 

This training covers the development of comprehensive emergency preparedness plans, teaching professionals how to anticipate and prepare for a range of potential crises, from natural disasters to unexpected staff health emergencies. 

It also includes risk assessment and mitigation strategies, ensuring that new professionals are equipped to effectively manage and respond to emergencies with foresight and efficiency. This preparation is essential for ensuring the safety and continuity of healthcare facilities in the face of unforeseen challenges.

Is CHFM Certification Worth the Extra Effort? 

Embarking on the journey to achieve CHFM certification is both a challenging and rewarding endeavor. It’s a path that invites professionals to delve deep into the nuances of healthcare facilities management. Typically, preparing for the CHFM exam is a personalized experience, often spanning several months to over a year, depending on one’s prior knowledge and the amount of time they can dedicate to studying.

For those already in the field, pursuing CHFM certification is an opportunity to refine and update their skills, ensuring they remain at the forefront of industry practices and standards. 

The certification process is not just about passing an exam; it’s about engaging with a comprehensive curriculum that covers the breadth and depth of healthcare facilities management. From understanding complex regulations to mastering the intricacies of facility safety and efficiency, the journey to CHFM certification is a significant professional milestone. It’s a commitment to excellence and a testament to one’s dedication to their career in healthcare facilities management.

More Great Resources For New Professionals: Utilizing the Healthcare Facilities Management Network 

As we wrap up our discussion on the CHFM certification, once again, we’d like to remind you of the rich resources available through our Healthcare Facilities Network. 

This platform is a growing treasure trove of information, consistently updated with new content, including a variety of insightful videos and interviews with some of the best minds in the field of healthcare-facilitates management. 

These resources are especially beneficial for those new to Healthcare Facilities Management, providing a deeper dive into the industry’s intricacies and some real world examples, opinions and insights that can’t be found in any textbook. We encourage you to explore these offerings, subscribe to the channel, and come back often, as they can significantly complement your learning and professional growth in this exciting and evolving field.

You can watch the videos, like, subscribe to the Healthcare Facilities Network and keep learning here.