Rick Essner, CHFM, EDAC, director of facilities management at Saint Francis Medical Center, recently obtained Evidence-based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC) from The Center for Health Design, recognizing his knowledge of the evidence-based design process for healthcare.
The EDAC program has established new standards for individuals who use an evidence-based design process for healthcare building programs. It educates and assesses individuals on their understanding of how to base design decisions on available, credible evidence. The goal of the program is not to test people on their knowledge of current available evidence, but rather to test them on the proper process to follow in order to identify, hypothesize, implement, gather, and report the data associated with their project.
Design characteristics and improved layout can contribute to improved outcomes for patients, families and staff. For patients, outcomes may include reduced need for medications, fewer falls, decreased infections, reduced risk of errors and better sleep. For staff, outcomes may include fewer workplace injuries, reduced incidence of errors, and less absence and turnover.
Evidence-based design can be used in all types of building design. However, healthcare has unusually high stakes because it involves major issues of safety and improved clinical outcomes.
Essner oversees the day-to-day infrastructural requirements of facility compliance, maintenance and operations. He is also responsible for planning and coordinating the design and construction of all renovation and expansion projects, such as the Medical Center’s $84 million combined Heart Hospital Cancer Institute and the expansion of the Gene E. Huckstep Emergency and Trauma Center. His responsibilities also include overseeing the Plant Maintenance, Plant Operations, and Biomedical Engineering departments at Saint Francis, as well as the landscaping and maintenance of all property owned or leased by Saint Francis Healthcare System.
Essner is a member of the Missouri Society of Healthcare Engineering, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, the Missouri Hospital Association, the National Fire Protection Association and the American Hospital Association. He is a certified healthcare facility manager by the American Hospital Association. Essner earned a dual Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology and fine arts from Southeast Missouri State University.