The arrival of ICRA 2.0 has ushered in significant changes and clarifications aimed at improving prevention planning for healthcare construction projects.
Although these updates are too broad in scope to package into quick-hit takeaways, during STARC’s most recent webinar, ICRA 2.0: The Evolution of Prevention Planning & Healthcare Construction, there were a few ah-ha moments that deserve a callout. Think of the following as points of entry to a deeper dive on a topic well worth exploring—especially if your livelihood revolves around healthcare renovation projects.
What’s New and Different With ICRA
ICRA 2.0 includes more complete descriptions of the various categories in the matrix, providing greater clarification for users. For example, the previous ICRA matrix focused on construction. Now, there’s a routine maintenance class for the ICRA, and inclusion of a standard workflow (and potentially a standardized permit) for those processes.
For a more comprehensive overview of the specific updates, check out this guest blog post by Dr. Janet Haas, CEO and Principal Consulting Epidemiologist at Innovative Infection Prevention.
Higher Stakes for IP
Beyond the numerous changes to the precautions matrix, it’s clear this ASHE-led effort has raised the stakes for infection preventionists. As Leon Young, Improvement Specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, alluded to during the webinar, it’s almost as if ASHE wants the IP to be more involved with the ICRA process and mitigation strategies.
“As it stands now, the IP completes the permit, signs it, sends it off, and maybe walks their projects. Set it and forget it, if you will,” Young says. “Now, ASHE wants the IP’s head in the game more. Starting with the permit, where the IP is to physically dictate the mitigation strategies—something already written out on the old permit—and then with the HEPA verification and monitoring. This gets the IP more involved and gets their hands dirty.”
Young adds that he’s thrilled ASHE has taken the partnership with infection prevention and healthcare construction to the next level.
Containment and Isolation
As you might expect, any industry-wide push to improve infection control brings with it an opportunity to reconsider traditional approaches to the containment of dust, dangerous pathogens, and risks associated with fire and smoke.
At STARC, we focus on providing negative air spaces for healthcare construction containment or isolation. As Bruce Bickford, Vice President of Product Development, pointed out during the webinar, our LiteBarrier and RealWall panels and modules provide the highest level and reliability of any temporary containment system because they are specifically engineered to reduce or stop airflow across the wall.
These solutions also provide accessories for HEPA machine integration and pressure monitoring. The flexibility of our system makes creating anterooms, corridor walls and negative pressure rooms equally straightforward and fully compliant with ICRA standards. In addition, our non-combustible panels can be used as fire barriers when the area is fully sprinklered.
No doubt, risk assessments for infection control will continue to evolve, but this ASHE-led ICRA 2.0 effort marks an important step forward for healthcare facilities management.
To watch the uncut recording of our webinar, click here.
To access the ICRA 2.0 form and permit from ASHE’s website, click here.
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