Hospital Infection Control: HVAC’s Surprising Role
The Center for Health Design examined 120 independent studies and concluded clinical outcomes improved for patients under the following conditions: first, they were in a quality-centered care in a healthcare facility, and second, the temperature, humidity, and indoor air quality were effectively monitored and controlled.
Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are common in the U.S., even though the CDC estimates 70% of them are preventable. HVACs play a critical role in keeping the environment safe and comfortable, not only for patients, but for family, friends, doctors, and personnel. Before contacting a Marietta AC company, here are some ways your HVAC affects patient outcomes.
You’re Surrounded by Floating Contaminants
It’s ideal to keep operation rooms between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit along with a desiccant dehumidifier to control moisture. Because pathogens love a warm place to breed, keeping it chillier will help fend them off.
Ventilation systems should be able to withstand frequent airflow changes to restrict the passing of particulates like molds, bacteria, and viruses. With the most recent technology, managers can better maintain the two types of pressure levels to restrict the movement of contaminants: negative pressure in isolation rooms where germs need to be contained, and positive pressure in operation rooms to keep pathogens out. Without this flexibility, your HVAC system can cause mass outbreaks.
Better Air for Healthier Patients
Recent advancements in technology have made air cleaning systems a crucial piece to indoor air quality and infection-control efforts. The most successful type is a catalytic air cleaning system, a very thorough filtering process. First, air passes through an air filter, then goes through ultraviolet germicidal irradiation area, and finally, through a photo-catalytic oxidation process. This process greatly reduces the circulation of microbiological elements, decreases VOC organic odors, and effectively removes even microscopic particles from the air flow.
Keep Your HVAC on Track
Like most equipment, avoiding ongoing maintenance can cause issues that go unnoticed until your patients are affected. In a recent investigation, the Center for Health Design determined a recent MRSA outbreak, as well as another infection, were both linked back to the hospital’s faulty ventilation system. More recently, a seventh patient has passed away due to a mold found at a Pittsburg hospital. The CDC inspected the facility, only to find that the ventilation system inside the negative pressure rooms where the patients were being treated was the likely cause.
If your HVACs aren’t performing to their full potential, you’re risking patient and personnel safety and comfort. It’s a good idea to conduct a critical system audit on your HVAC to identify performance gaps. You’ll save energy, improve reliability, reduce maintenance, and optimize use of personnel.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is not just an industry buzzword; it’s important to your patients’ health. At Anytime Heating & Cooling, we offer many products that can make a significant difference in your (IAQ), like humidifiers, air cleaners, and air purifiers. Contact us for more information, or give us a call at 678-606-9006.