Temporary Barriers

Temporary Barriers Prevent the Spread of Infection

In hospitals across the U.S., it’s critical for contractors and healthcare providers alike to manage and monitor indoor air quality to prevent the spread of infections.

Staff, visitors and patients must be protected against exposure to potentially harmful airborne particulates. Patients with compromised immune systems are at the greatest risk. Common airborne organisms such as mold spores are potentially dangerous, as are infectious diseases such as mycobacterium tuberculosis, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and avian flu influenza.

Always a key issue, infection control gained even greater urgency with news in August 2007 that Medicare will no longer pay for treatment of “conditions that could reasonably have been prevented,” including hospital acquired infections.

Here are four steps to help prevent the spread of harmful airborne particulates and maintain safe, comfortable air quality:

  • Establish physical barriers to isolate potential sources of harmful airborne particulates: patients with indicators of infectious diseases, wall and ceiling-based repair, or renovation of cavity and plenum.
  • Control air pressure to ensure air moves from clean to dirty environments.
  • HEPA-filter the air to remove airborne particles.
  • Monitor and verify performance using air pressure/flow testers and airborne particle counters.

Of course, just because these steps are straightforward doesn’t mean they’re easy. Constant diligence is required to make sure indoor air systems are operating correctly, proper airflow is being maintained and best practices are being followed. If a disaster or casualty event affected many people in a community, local hospital permanent isolation rooms could easily be overwhelmed.

Temporary isolation solutions are needed for patients that cannot be easily relocated to permanent Airborne Infection Isolation (AII) rooms or when these rooms are occupied. They are also a necessity for any jobs that generate airborne particulates in or near patient areas.  Contractors play a central role. They must ensure that their work is isolated from the patient environment so air in patient areas is not compromised by airborne contaminants.

Under guidelines of the American Institute of Architects and the Joint Commission, even minor construction and maintenance projects require an Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA). Contractors will work closely with the healthcare facility’s infection control practitioner to assess the risks, agree on countermeasures and report on performance during the project.

Assessing the Level of Risk

The level of infection risk depends on the disruption required for a project (painting poses little risk, while heavy demolition and new construction is much more risky) as well as the sensitivity of the area affected (office areas are low risk, while intensive care, burn units and AII facilities are highest risk). The combined level of risk determines the infection controls necessary for a project. The ICRA panel must inspect the installation of infection control measures and monitor their effectiveness throughout the project.

What We Can Do To Help

Banner Stakes has developed several products that can be used in an Infection Control Program.  The 7’ & 30’ Magnetic Retractable Barriers can be used to keep patients, doctors, nurses, hospital staff, visitors, and contractors away from hazardous conditions by placing them in doorways, hallways, and waiting room areas.  The PLUS Cart Package is equipped with 5 Stanchions with 15’ Retractable barriers on them to be placed anywhere in a healthcare facility.
By using the Banner Stakes 7’ Magnetic Retractable Barriers on cleaned hospital rooms you can control the spread by keeping unauthorized personnel from entering a room thus re-contaminating it before a new patient moves in.  These Magnetic Retractable Barriers can also be used in areas where “Terminal Cleaning” is taking place.
Banner Stakes 7’ & 30’ Magnetic Retractable Barriers are used for maintenance areas, construction areas, bathrooms, patient rooms,
elevator maintenance, electrical rooms for ARC Flash Boundary, surgical rooms, nurse stations, security, and crowd control during
a potential hazardous virus out break.
Banner Stakes PLUS Cart Package can be used around healthcare facilities for closing off waiting room areas for cleaning, around ladders during routine maintenance, closing of hallway sections for Floor Cleaning and Waxing, outdoor construction projects, over-head light maintenance in parking structures, painting areas, security, and crowd control.

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source: “Temporary Barriers Prevent the Spread of Infection.”  grainger.com Grainger, Web. Nov. 14th, 2017.
source: “How to reduce the spread of Infectious Disease s in Medical Facilities by using Banner Stakes Products.”  bannerstakes.com Banner Stakes, Oct. 2017, Web. Nov. 14th, 2017.

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