Patient Safety and Facility Management: The Role of Healthcare Facility Engineers


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by Matthew F. Baretich, P.E., Ph.D., CHFM

Patient safety is a fundamental concern for everyone in the health care delivery system. Health care facility engineers have a unique role to play in fostering patient safety. Many facility management activities have a substantial impact on patient safety and facility engineers provide major contributions to patient safety. The value of those contributions can be increased by integrating them into facility-wide patient safety activities. To do so, health care facility engineers need to develop an understanding of broader issues in patient safety and how facility management affects those issues. Health care facility engineers also need to develop new skills in areas such as Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) and Root Cause Analysis (RCA). This will enable health care facility engineers to become integral members of patient safety teams.


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