CHC Certification for Contractors
by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Nov 5, 2020 12:00:00 AM
Q: We have a project scheduled for next year to build a significant addition onto our facility that will double our square footage. During the planning-stage, it was raised by our facility manager that we should require all general contractors to have their staff and sub-contractors be certified as Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC). Do you believe this is a good idea?
A: Absolutely I do. The CHC certification is managed by the American Society for Healthcare Engineers (ASHE), which is part of the American Hospital Association (AHA). The purpose of this certification is to educate the workers and supervisors on the intricacies and unique details of working in a healthcare environment. As ASHE so well states on their website, working in a health care facility is different from working in any other environment. The CHC designation helps to develop leaders in facility management and construction so they may better understand the complexity of healthcare facilities. Certification, along with practical experience, is vital for patient safety.
As long as we are discussing the CHC certification, it is important to evaluate the general contractor’s (GC) bidding on the project and select those who have the correct experience working in your type of healthcare facility. Just because a GC built a parking deck, or a clinic, does not mean they have the necessary knowledge and experience to build an addition for your ICU or surgery departments.
Workers who have the CHC certification gain practical knowledge on Life Safety, infection control, pedestrian traffic, wayfinding though the facility, and in-depth understanding of utility safety, which always translates into better patient satisfaction scores.
For additional information on the CHC certification, visit ASHE’s website at www.ashe.org and click on the “Education” tab.