Protective Environments: Key Areas in Improving Medical Facility IAQ

Air conditioner blowing warm air

How important is indoor air quality (IAQ) in health care?

For many health care providers, the quality of care understandably remains the priority. It pays, however, to pay IAQ a closer look to mitigate the spread of nosocomial or hospital-acquired infections.

In improving the IAQ in medical facilities, it’s imperative to enlist specialized services from companies that offer medical-grade duct cleaning such as Clinicair. It’s also important to understand various steps that are essential to establishing, monitoring, and maintaining safe and comfortable air quality.

Creating Safe Medical Environments

To provide the right IAQ for a healthcare environment, facility managers, maintenance staff, and contractors should take action in these four areas:

Administrative Controls – Setting up policies and procedures can provide ease with risk identification and management.

Facility Function and Design Requirements – With a thorough understanding of the facility's function and design, stakeholders can better create plans to mitigate the spread of airborne hazards.

Immune-compromised patients can be vulnerable to the health threats associated with airborne organisms. A patient suffering from a respiratory infection, for instance, can spread microbes to other patients, visitors, and staff. To respond to this potential dangers, hospitals must set up contaminant control facilities to protect immune-compromised patients as well as isolate those with infections that may spread through the air.

Monitoring, Documentation, Proper Action – Proper monitoring and documentation of the operation of systems such as the HVAC can be significantly helpful with upkeep, repair, and possibly, replacement. The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), in fact, says hospitals must be able to assess and control risks related to HVAC, among other utility systems. 

Contingency Plans – It’s imperative to have an available contingency plan in the event emergencies such as spills, leaks, and floods occur. Such contingency plans help expedite responses during emergency cases.

When it comes to maintaining proper IAQ in a health care environment, the considerations are endless. Owners, contractors, and service providers should all work together to provide an environment that’s conducive to wellness and infection control.