Planning a building project? Here is info you should know

Facilities directors, project managers and others associated with construction at hospitals and other medical facilities in California know there are a myriad of rules associated with those situations as well as a thicket of state and other agencies to enforce them.
Staying on top of building projects – whether it’s adding on to an existing facility or constructing something from the ground up – is a full-time responsibility. It’s critical that things are handled properly – to keep projects on time and on budget, and to ensure that patients can efficiently access and receive the high-quality healthcare that every facility seeks to deliver.
Sometimes, J.M. Keckler Medical Co. sales representatives are drawn into conversations about facilities needs and construction when they are discussing what is required for the installation or replacement of fixed equipment.
With that in mind, Project Manager, Stacey Seward, who has been with J. M. Keckler Medical for over 30 years, put together some common questions and a list of resources to seek answers to help his co-workers and their clients.
“I compiled the information so it could be provided to customers and our employees for clarification on when and what is required for construction,” Stacey explained. “The expectation is that we would provide a reference guide or road map for our customers and employees to use when evaluating the probability of construction for projects.”

Here are some frequently asked questions along with links to websites that provide clarity about what is required in various situations:

1. How do I determine if my planned project is under the jurisdiction of OSHPD / HCAI (the California Department of Health Care Access and Information)?  After determining the scope of the project, those in charge should consult with the OSHPD Compliance Officer prior to starting construction. The compliance officer will verify that the project is eligible for the FREER program, and determine which FREER options are available. There is a 48-page FREER manual available online that addresses building-related questions.

2. Should I use an architect or engineer when considering equipment upgrades at my medical facility? You should always consult a design professional such as an architect or engineer when considering a replacement of capital equipment. 

3. How should I respond to a manufacturer or supplier that tells me I don’t need OSHPD / HCAI involved or permits with upgrades to our operating room lights, boom or our SPD equipment? Ask the manufacturer / supplier to provide a scope of the project to install the new equipment, then refer to OSHPD/FDD New FREER Manual for clarification.

4. Where can I find out information about OSHPD / HCAI? The following link provides information about OSHPD / HCAI, including their available resources:

5. Is it difficult to become a registered user for my projects at OSHPD / HCAI? They provide a user guide on how to use their HCAI Services Portal Client Access (eCA) User Guide

6. Where would I get a building permit application? This is the link to the online application form:

 This is the link to the application for new projects:

7. How do I determine if my planned project is exempt from the permitting process? Here is a link to that information: