May 23, 2022

3 Easy to Adopt Technologies That Maximize Safety in Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare Facilities

It’s hard to find another public space where technology adoption has a greater multiplier effect than in healthcare facilities. Every single action in this space improves the living conditions of immunocompromised patients. During a pandemic, it also helps protect non-infected visitors and staff. However, it’s much easier to implement technology at the very early stages of building design: building automation, air, and water management, lighting, etc. Adding new solutions to existing buildings requires significantly more resources.

In this article, we list three technologies for healthcare facilities that help monitor hospital safety while also being easy to adopt.

Indoor air quality monitoring system

Source: ATMO

It’s highly advisable to conduct regular air quality monitoring in hospitals to ensure patients and staff are working in a healthy environment. 

Previously, humidity, temperature, and CO2 were the most widespread environmental benchmarks for IAQ. However, indoor environmental safety isn’t limited to only these parameters. 

Particles PM1 and PM2.5 have become even more critical to environmental safety as they show a positive correlation with virus survivability according to the RESET Viral Index formula.

TVOCs are another example. Healthcare workers and patients are frequently exposed to disinfectants and cleaning products in hospitals and clinics. 

As these products emit volatile organic compounds, monitoring them along with other metrics is becoming an increasingly important issue.

The majority of traditional indoor sensors measure only two or three parameters at once neglecting PM1 and PM2.5, TVOCs, or both.

Modern indoor air quality monitors such as Atmocube track a wide range of air pollutants – PM1, PM2.5, PM10, formaldehyde, TVOCs, and CO2. They also combine the functionality of an environmental monitor by reporting temperature, humidity, noise levels, and light intensity.

Atmocube’s useful features include:

  • Verified sensor accuracy which is especially important for hospital settings;
  • Thanks to API, facility managers can broadcast air quality data publicly so visitors can see it upon entering the facility or inpatient wards.
  • Integration with BAS/BMS for HVAC control and performance validation.
  • Annual calibration and/or sensor replacement to meet building certifications.

ATP Monitors

Source: Kaivac

Around 25% of non-critical surfaces in healthcare environments are contaminated. There is a clear need for approaches to cleaning and disinfection in hospitals that are more stringent. For example, research revealed that in 2014 only 35.5% of cleaning procedures in 16 hospitals in Frankfurt, Germany passed an audit with fluorescent markers. Two years later after the implementation of a cleaning and disinfection plan, this number reached 81%. Such a significant improvement wouldn’t be possible without strict control of hygiene procedures. 

After introducing a new disinfection routine healthcare personnel should regularly monitor how efficiently these protocols are implemented. Otherwise, the absence of monitoring may compromise the health and wellbeing of hospital/clinic staff and patients.

Right now, there are several methods for checking how well personnel clean surfaces including the use of fluorescent gel and detection of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).

The ATP monitors from Kaivac – SystemSURE PLUS provide rapid 15-sec testing of microbial contamination. The monitor detects the presence of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which is found in all living cells, using a luciferase/luciferin reagent. This approach is an effective way of indicating the cleanliness of surfaces. Results are shown in Relative Light Unit (RLU) values, with higher values indicating a stronger presence of ATP.

While the device may not determine the exact extent of microbial contamination due to the wider organic nature of ATP, it’s an effective method of real-time monitoring for sanitation purposes.

Water leak sensors

Source: WaterAlert

The healthcare industry uses large volumes of water: from personal hygiene to vacuum pump systems and kidney dialysis.

Water Alert Ceiling Guard is a water leakage system able to identify even the smallest leaks in suspended ceilings. The system looks like tile-looking trays with tray-to-tray sensing connectors. The trays can be attached to ceiling tiles and help accumulate leakage before a breakthrough occurs.

Ceiling Guard protects against leakage from concealed piping and the roof or floors above. The good thing about this solution is the ease of installation with both existing and new buildings.

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