With expansion and modernization a common place in the healthcare arena, renovation projects are common place. Healthcare facilities personnel and contractors know that ICRAs (infection control risk assessments) are a staple, but how many worker’s know this fact? With over 10 years of infection control consulting experience in healthcare facilities there are many common items that we have seen.
Every project should have a detailed checklist that helps manage potential risks. Here is a sampling of items that should be in that checklist:
- Is the work area completely isolated from surrounding spaces (i.e. ductwork, conduit, penetrations, chases, etc.)?
- How much negative pressure is the work area under?
- Where is the make-up air for the work area coming from?
- Do all construction personnel know if/what patient areas are not for construction traffic?
- Is the HEPA vacuum at the construction entrance/exit easily accessible?
The purpose of the above list is to call attention to many points that the project team assumes that everyone knows the answer. All construction site workers should be aware that patients in hospitals are not at peak health and contamination from construction areas should not adversely affect their recovery.