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Indoor AIr Quality a Significant Issue in Health Care

Posted on November 13, 2013
by Susana Escamilla

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(photo source:Medbid.com)

Air quality has become a global issue and also a significant issue in healthcare. According to the United States of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), making changes in hospital operations can stop pollutants at the source and increase efficiency. By evaluating and improving work practices, hospitals can decrease emissions, reduce operational costs, and protect employee and public health. There are several procedures to consider in order to maintain appropriate Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in a healthcare surrounding. It is important to monitor and keep the air quality inside hospitals comfortable and safe to prevent any airborne infections.The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has listed three basic environment of care standards:
• Hospitals must assess and control risks, including those related to HVAC and other utility systems.

• They must regularly inspect, test, and maintain those systems.

• They must design, install, and maintain ventilation equipment to serve airborne contaminant control facilities, and document their maintenance activities.

It is important to maintain the air quality in any healthcare environment safe. If it is not maintained excess moisture in wall spaces can begin to grow mold. Mold in any environment is a serious issue. Other procedures and places can also increase the risk of exposure to airborne infections and microorganisms. Not only is it critical to always maintain the air quality in healthcare facilities but also maintain the air quality management and procedures in hospitals. For instance, in operating rooms The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) outlines some ways to Implement environmental infection-control and ventilation measures for operating rooms.
1. Maintain positive-pressure ventilation with respect to corridors and adjacent areas

2. Keep operating room doors closed except for the passage of equipment, personnel, and patients, and limit entry to essential personnel

3. In rooms not engineered for horizontal laminar airflow, introduce air at the ceiling and exhaust air near the floor

AirTek can provide a list of indoor solutions for the healthcare environments. They include indoor air quality management, preventative maintenance solutions, and portable containment products for airborne particulates, infection control, and bio-security. We have helped several healthcare facilities and hospital be safe for patients and for employees. Read about one of our previous projects for a three story clinic in East Los Angeles here.

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