ASHE Reflections

ASHE Reflections

This year, ARC Facilities sent three folks to the American Society of Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) conference in Boston. Two are veteran team members, and one newcomer, so it was interesting to hear their impressions because there’s so much going on in the healthcare industry with respect to facility management.

ASHE is one of the largest associations dedicated to optimizing the healthcare built environment. 

Shannon Rees, who just joined the team, enjoyed getting to know a broad cross-section of the facilities industry – from VA hospital facility directors to past ASHE presidents.

“People were there with the intention to learn and share knowledge,” said Shannon. “The attendee energy made the conference great!”

A believer in trade show “hunting,” Shannon also loves good props and swag, so she passed out classic sunglasses, which gave her a great opportunity to showcase how ARC Facilities provides instant access to critical building informatin for facility management professionals.

Shannon told us that booth activity was lively with much talk about digitizing building plans as a first step toward streamlining documentation management, control, and accessibility.

Given some reflection, Shannon also believes there are more stories to foster about sustainability and energy management in the facilities industry.

“I’d love to see some research about the numbers of computers in buildings, amount of energy consumed per building/per campus, and volume of documentation stored in buildings and campuses. Conserving energy is something we can all get behind,” she said.

Talk on the street about Dr. Sudip Bose’s keynote was excellent, according to Jon Styrlund. Bose addressed leadership under stress, sharing his experiences from Iraq, and how teams can use those lessons in their own healthcare operations.

“In our booth, we heard from many government and other organizations that are struggling with the challenges of old buildings and managing with legacy systems. They all seemed driven to find ways to modernize and be more efficient,” said Jon.

“Safety and emergency response was top of mind, and we also heard from teams dealing with the new legionella compliance requirements as well as updating their HVAC systems post-pandemic,” he added.

David Trask said that the biggest issue brought up over and over was the labor shortage and difficulties finding qualified technicians. 

“Some folks at the show said that it’s taking more than two years to find HVAC technicians. Others are looking at outsourcing vs. direct recruiting,” he said. 

“On the bright side, when we showed how we field verify equipment/shutoff locations and their legacy drawings they lit up! Several said this would help them with new hire orientation and getting them up to speed starting day 1,” said David.

Generally, there was a lot of talk about the great seafood, Italian, and Irish fare at the local restaurants and how despite the heat wave, it was still fun to walk the great Boston neighborhoods and enjoy the nightlife.

The conference was capped off with a casual happy hour celebration at a nearby pub in Boston, with an array of appetizers and beverages. 

All in all, ASHE Boston was a positive learning experience for our team and for people who attended the conference.

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