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Education is key to meeting the challenges ahead

More than a year ago, in April, the International Federation of Hospital Engineering (IFHE) and Norwegian Association of Hospital Engineering (FSTL) had the pleasure of hosting the 22nd International Congress of Hospital Engineering in Norway. The venue was a little unusual – a ship – the Coastal Steamer which runs between Tromso and Bergen. The organising committee felt that the event was a great success.

During this Congress the presidency of

IFHE was handed over from Yasushi Nagasawa of Japan to me. I still feel that it is an honour, yet also a great responsibility, to chair this fine organisation. I am lucky that, to help in this work, I do have some very competent members on the Executive Committee from all across the World, and together, we are endeavouring to continue to further the work undertaken by the IFHE until the next President and Executive take over.

I have announced three primary goals for

my Presidency: 1 Focus on the environment – a heritage from previous Presidents.

2 Retain the current membership of IFHE and increase it by two new countries at the International Congress in Buenos Aires in October 2014.

3 Continue the good relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) as an active and supportive Non Governmental Organisation (NGO).

Ole Rist. Ing. is president of the International Federation of Hospital Engineering (IFHE). He was born in Norway in 1947 and began his working career as an assistant in an entrepreneurial company in Stokmarknes, Norway. He went on to become a grammar school teacher for a year in a local rural school between 1967 and 1968. In 1968 he joined the Royal Norwegian Air Force

and graduated as a radar specialist in 1971. He went on to join several military courses in Norway as well as in England, Germany and USA and graduated from Tinius Olsen technical college in 1975. He continued to serve in the Air Force until

1983, and during this time was stationed at several sites across Norway, including the remote Jan Mayen island which is situated in the North Atlantic. In 1983 he left the Air Force to take up the

position of technical manager at the local hospital in Stokmarknes, and moved on, for a short period, to work as technologist in an oil related company in Oslo.

Shortly after its formation Ole became a board IFHE DIGEST 2014

These issues were discussed in Council in Kuala Lumpur, 10 September 2013. The annual IFHE Digest offers a good and

interesting way of spreading information and good practice relating to hospital engineering right across the World and I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this issue. A special thanks goes to Andy Wavell who has encouraged us and helped to bring the whole document together.

I hope that you find the contents of this edition of interest and that it might encourage some of you to provide articles for the 2015 edition, and to encourage your colleagues to do so too. By the time you read this edition of the

IFHE Digest the IFHE Executive Committee and Council will have already met in Kuala Lumpar. This meeting was hosted by the Biomedical Engineering Association of Malaysia (BEAM) and IFHE was very grateful for the invitation extended to representatives of the worldwide IFHE family. The meetings were a prelude to a two-day conference organised by BEAM for interested organisations in the region. The next IFHE International Congress will be held in Buenos Aires. AADAIH will be hosting the event and I understand that Liliana Font, First Vice President of IFHE and her team have the event well under control. I very much look forward to being able to meet representatives from new Latin American countries at the Congress. Dates

member for the Forum for Sykehusenes Tekniske Ledelse (FSTL) – acting as treasurer and secretary for many years. He was the Norwegian delegate at the IFHE Congress in London in 1990 and has been present at most of the IFHE-congresses since then. In 1998 he became technical manager in

Innherred Hospital in Levanger, Norway. Following this, for a period, he was technical manager at three North Norwegian Hospitals in 2002-2003 after a reorganisation of the hospital structure in Norway and before the next reorganisation. He was one of three group-members responsible

for organising the IFHE-Congresses in Norway 2002 in Bergen and on the coastal steamer (Hurtigruten) in 2012. In 2007 he was engaged by World Health

Organization (WHO) to work out plans for isolation rooms in four hospitals in Tadjikistan in a bid to counter the spread of avian flu. He was also engaged in 2010 by the World Bank to undertake the same procedure in four hospitals in Bhutan. Ole has also been a member of Rotary

Ole Rist.

International since 1985. Ole has been married for 45 years and has

three children and six grandchildren. He is great fan of the French carmaker Citroen, and owns and drives three different types of Citroen cars from the 1970’s.


for Executive and Council meetings are 11-12 October, followed by the Congress which takes place between 13-16 October 2014.

In my opinion our Congresses and other meetings are vitally important to underpin our continuing international communication, which is essential. As hospital engineers and facility managers we all face challenges and as innovative and creative people we are able to find solutions to most obstacles. What are our main challenges in the future? I believe that the issues facing us are firstly, rapid change followed by sustainability, risk management, efficiency/cost control, aging buildings and human resource challenges. Add to these issues the well-known environmental issues and the extremely rapid changes in medical equipment and IT and it becomes evident that we, as engineers and architects, really do need to strive to keep ourselves up to date with all the latest developments? Education is the key word. We will increasingly be called upon to anticipate changing needs and to work with building owners to manage with foresight. I wish you all good reading!

Ole Rist President

International Federation of Hospital Engineering

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