The latest ASHE-led changes and clarifications aimed at improving infection control during healthcare construction – commonly referred to as ICRA 2.0 – offer much to consider. During STARC’s recent webinar, ICRA 2.0: Recommendations for Improving Prevention Planning in Healthcare Construction, attendees heard from our panel of experts and weighed in with plenty of questions.
If you haven’t viewed the webinar yet, be sure to check it out. In the meantime, here are 3 key takeaways that should resonate with anyone whose livelihood includes healthcare renovation projects.
New and Improved
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.
Beyond the numerous changes to the precautions matrix, it’s clear this effort has raised the stakes for infection preventionists. As Improvement Specialist Leon Young 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.”
Containment and Isolation
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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