If you work in healthcare facility management, you know how important it is to pass a Joint Commission or CMS inspection. These two regulatory bodies are the largest and most influential in the U.S. healthcare sector and failing one of their inspections can lead to the loss of a hospital's accreditation, its funding, and the loss of public confidence. But did you know? One of the largest oversights that sink an inspection is improper room differential pressure?
Operating rooms and patient isolation rooms are two commonly-known pressurized spaces in a hospital. Operating and procedure rooms, are positively pressurized; the air pressure inside the room is higher than it is outside the room, forcing air outwards and keeping harmful contaminants away from the patient. Isolation rooms, on the other hand, are negatively pressurized, designed to keep pathogens inside the space and from spreading throughout the building.
While it may seem obvious that these areas need to be carefully controlled, there are dozens of other spaces in a hospital that need to be pressurized, too. According to ASHRAE Standard 170, there are over 60 different areas of concern within a healthcare facility that need to maintain constant differential pressure, each space having different requirements with respect to air changes per hour, humidity and temperature.
You might be surprised to find that this list includes: hazardous material storage, elivery rooms and newborn intensive care, emergency rooms, clean linen storage, soiled linen storage, and pharmacies.
While a room pressure monitor is commonly used for operating and isolation rooms, lower-tech devices like air flow indicators, are often used those other areas. These devices can present some problems, though. For starters, they can get clogged with contaminants and need to be routinely cleaned. They're also difficult and costly to install with any alarming features. But more importantly, these devices are ONLY simple good-bad indicators. They cant display an accurate read-out or offer any data on past performance.
Room pressure monitors are better equipped to meet the demands of an inspection. As regulatory drivers continue to improve patient safety, technology needs to keep up. Pressure sensing solutions that are accurate and reliable have never been more valuable. By future-proofing your facility and staying ahead of regulatory bodies like The Joint Commission, you can save valuable time and money better spent on improving patient health.Are hospital pharmacies moving towards cleanroom standards? CLICK HERE to learn more.