Phil Massey – Penn State Health
When it comes to building and maintaining a hospital, attention to detail is paramount—from the color of the paint to the quality of the air. After all, the hospital itself is like a living, breathing organism: The more seamlessly its parts work together, the healthier it is.
This holds especially true for Pennsylvania’s Lancaster Medical Center, the newest facility built and administered by Penn State Health, a multi-hospital system with locations across the Keystone State.
The six-floor LMC opened to staff in June and will open to patients in October. In the meantime, Regional Director of Facilities Phil Massey and his team will be getting systems inspected, providing documentation and developing vendor partnerships, among other tasks.
As Massey continues to build out his team for the project, he wants customer service to be a priority—with a focus on standardizing things like documentation and inspection schedules so there’s consistency throughout the organization.
“The people that I work with have that customer-service mentality. It’s always top of mind,” Massey says. “I think that’s why I fit in so well. We all have the same common goal of creating the best experience possible for every patient that walks through our doors.”
Massey’s to-do list includes ensuring proper fire protection, maintaining emergency power systems and adhering to local and state safety regulations. He and his team have also been working on regulatory preparedness; weekly inspections of eyewash stations; monthly exit lighting Inspections, and so on.
Securing the right contractors is also crucial, he says, whether it’s to conduct semiannual fire-alarm testing, water treatment and sprinkler inspections, or to ensure cabinets and fixtures are properly secured.
A lot of cosmetic details need to be taken care of, too. Pipes need to be labeled and air issues dialed. Data entry for non-disposable items like beds and medical equipment need to be entered into the database and recorded using the CMMS Computerized Maintenance Management System. As the October patient occupation approaches, Massey continues to make sure no detail is forgotten.
“This is the second quarter, and we are moving forward as though we had patients in the hospital,” says Massey. “We are trying to get each vendor to come out and look at systems so they can provide an accurate proposal to make moving forward with the hospital opening seamless.”
Patients as customers
Indeed, throughout his career, Massey has learned firsthand just how important customer service is to a healthcare provider. He started his facilities career at Presbyterian Senior Living Community, a community his grandparents also happened to live at. That unique connection allowed him to see how proper customer service can makes a difference in the lives of patients.
“I really believe that taking time to interact with patients and family members—our customers—is a huge part of the job,” Massey says. “Not just for me, but for all of my employees.”
Massey was first hired by the PSLC retirement community in 2008. Soon after, he was promoted to maintenance manager, before being named director of environmental services in 2010.
It was during Massey’s stint as maintenance manager that his grandparents came to live in the community. It quickly hit home that the appreciation that they had for the services provided—dietary experts, nurses, housekeeping—was because the staff had good attitudes and were kind. This inspired Massey to always put customer service at the fore.
“Individuals that I had interactions with left a lasting impression,” Massey says of his time at the retirement community. “That’s where my focus on positive customer service came into play. Whatever I could do to make residents feel better, I did. Personal interactions and conversations were important. It made an impression on me, and I knew this was what I wanted to do.”
Straight out of high school, Massey went to school for an HVAC company in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He worked in that field for almost 15 years before a back injury and subsequent surgery led him to find a different line of work. He entered sales, working mostly on commission. But that felt unstable, so Massey found his way to the retirement Presbyterian Senior Living Community in 2008.
In 2015, Community Health Systems hired Massey as director of facilities. In 2018, Tower Health moved to acquire five additional hospitals, which included Jennersville Regional Hospital. Two years later, his role then expanded to include oversight of Brandywine Hospital as well.
At both hospitals, Massey had to start from scratch with hiring, all while establishing a regulatory and preventative-maintenance program. Massey emphasizes that getting the proper people and companies in place is what makes a hospital successful.
“It starts from the top down. If you have individuals that are with the program, there is functionality. Penn State Health knows that good leadership is important to guide this along. If employees are nice, have good attitudes and serve their patients well, it goes a long way.”
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