When stepping into a healthcare facility, there are hundreds of individuals working to ensure patient safety and care. From nurses and doctors to support staff and cleaning crews, everyone has their part in providing a safe, clean environment for treatment, surgery, research, and patient care. Healthcare spaces carry on a variety of important tasks and need to be ahead of the next disaster, pandemic, or illness breakout that may occur. One way which they handle this is through the use of precision air flow controls systems.
Behind the scenes of the white walls, high-tech equipment, and well-educated staff is an advanced system for controlling heating, cooling, air purification, and air containment. Precision air flow control systems reduce the ability of airborne pathogens to spread, reduce overall operation costs of hospitals, and provide the optimal sterile environment for quality patient care.
Healthcare spaces come in many shapes and sizes. Precision air flow control systems can be used in many of these. The primary applications include:
- Isolation chambers. Perhaps one of the most vital times that a hospital needs precision air control is when there is a risk of a highly contagious disease within their facility. More often than not, a patient comes in exhibiting symptoms that need further testing but that may be directly linked to something that can quickly become a pandemic. For example, in early 2000 there was an increase in the number of patients who had fallen ill with anthrax. In this situation, it was necessary for patients to be held in isolation chambers until the risk of the threat was dissolved. Within the isolated space, the precision system can properly exhaust, filter, and replace the air to make it safe for those who enter.
- Operating Rooms. The next most sterile part of any hospital is an operating room. As individuals are undergoing surgery, it is possible for airborne pathogens to escape from the open body. Precision air flow control systems quickly work to exasperate any and all risks of these pathogens spreading. Furthermore, as many hospitals move quickly from patient to patient within operating rooms, the system is able to rapidly and adequately sterilize the air while cleaners are sterilizing the equipment and furniture within the space.
- Intensive Care Unit/ Cancer Centers. Both of the intensive care unit and the cancer centers of healthcare spaces are filled with individuals who have highly sensitive immune systems. Something as basic as the common cold can make these individuals terminally ill or at a risk for death. It is the duty of these systems to provide optimal temperature control to inhibit the growth and spreading of airborne bacteria while also filtering out any illnesses that are presented inadvertently by other patients or patient guests.
The initial benefits of precision air flow control systems is the sterilization, safety, and security that they bring to healthcare spaces. On any given day, it is possible for countless types of allergens, pathogens, and bacteria to be introduced into a hospital. With the openings and closings of emergency room doors and thousands of individuals walking the hallways, it is possible for illness to spread quicker among these individuals than anywhere else in the outside world.
The use of these control systems will help prevent this from happening while also accommodate the necessary temperature control based on the outside climate. An energy efficient model is essential for battling the extreme cold and hot temperatures that many healthcare spaces within the United States face on a yearly basis. With older systems, it is necessary for them to work twice as hard to maintain proper temperature control based on outdoor elements. Newer models handle this with ease and can be targeted at specific zones of the hospital to provide specific temperatures, as well as be used for cost-saving measures by eliminating temperature control and spaces that are unused.
Targeted zone controls and other sophisticated features allow managers to create the right environment within every part of their facility whether it is for pharmaceutical needs, patient aftercare, or medical research. The advanced technology integrated with these systems makes it possible to monitor and control every aspect of air quality.
While the first thought when it comes to precision air flow control systems is their ability to hinder the growth and spread of disease and improve patient care, the secondary thought is always the cost. Upgrading to a newer system is relatively cost-effective to start. Most facilities see a return on their initial investment within the first few years. By reducing the amount of energy which is used, the implementation of precision control systems can actually increase the profitability of any healthcare space.
The increase in profitability doesn’t just come from saving money on operations of a heating and cooling system. Upgraded energy efficient models require substantially less maintenance than older units. Their self-sufficient design is uniquely created to offer high quality performance in every situation. This means hospital administrators and other controlling members can spend less time worrying about costs of upkeep, servicing, and potential repairs.
Just like a hospital, precision air flow control systems are designed for longevity. In a time when many healthcare facilities are pressured to decrease spending, increase research output, and are targeted to lead the way in the next healthcare breakthroughs, it is these systems that work to make everything possible. The addition of the system helps make any healthcare facility thrive as a well-oiled machine and lets the group of patient-caring individuals focus on what matters — a better patient experience.
There are many benefits, features and applications of precision air flow control systems today. But none are as prevalent, important, or powerful as it’s applications in the healthcare industry. Whether it is the local hospital, a state of the art surgical facility, a university research lab, or the sterile containment center for testing diseases — these systems are necessary to keep everything operating smoothly.