Healthcare infection control facilities managers are busy people. Considering that healthcare facilities need to have optimal conditions to deliver the best care to their patients, the sheer amount of work that facilities managers accomplish is astronomical. While it’s almost impossible to list every duty, the responsibilities of healthcare managers can be summarized in five key functions.
1. Facility Needs
By definition, a healthcare facilities manager needs to manage the facility that they’re in charge of. Facilities managers should understand the building’s design as well as the equipment, both medical and not, that is used within. That means that the purchase, installation, and maintenance of equipment such as computers, healthcare devices, elevators, and more falls under their purview. Any building renovation, additions, and retrofitting is approved, and in some cases, supervised by the facilities manager, who is also in charge of soliciting and evaluating contractor bids. In addition to all this, they must also oversee policies regarding the removal of hazardous waste and general maintenance programs.
2. Code Compliance
Because of the risks to patient and staff health inherent in the industry, healthcare facilities managers have the difficult task of understanding all of the codes and policies that the facility may need to conform to — and keeping up to date on infection control trends. This includes state and federal code and standards from healthcare organizations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, requirements from the EPA, OSHA and CDC policies, and more. In addition, the facility itself must be up to code with requirements from the American Institute of Architects and other building safety regulations.
In regards to finances, the most important responsibility for healthcare facilities managers is the development and adherence to an operating budget for the facility. Not only do they have to understand the facility’s overall finances in order to create the budget, they also need to make the decision on new investments, spending priorities, and negotiate service agreements.
4. Day-to-Day Operations
With all the responsibilities required of facilities managers, it’s important to note that they aren’t generally in charge of the actual execution of many tasks — overseeing hazardous waste management and disposal, or groundskeeping, for instance, does not mean that the facilities managers themselves are rolling up their sleeves to do that work. Yet their work is not all big-picture, either. Healthcare facilities managers must coordinate with healthcare professionals and departmental managers constantly to determine what the facility needs, work with human resources to set and maintain adherence to HR policies, and participate in training and drills for all staff.
5. Maintaining Certification
Along with everything that falls into their responsibilities bucket, healthcare facilities managers are required to maintain their certifications through the American Hospital Association. To become certified in the first place, facilities managers must have at least a Bachelor’s degree and three years of associated engineering or administrative experience in a healthcare setting; then, certification must be renewed every three years. It is important to keep up to date on infection control training. To renew, the facilities manager must either retake the 110 question test, or document at least 45 hours of continuing professional education.
Facilities managers have a lot on their plate, and in different cases, these five duties only scratch the surface. Keeping a healthcare facility running with happy staff and satisfied, cared-for patients requires both careful attention and a talent for big-picture visualization. We understand the challenges that facilities managers face, and we have the tools to help. Check out our guide on why UV disinfection should be part of your facilities management strategy: