Infection Control, hospital construction

How Wall Barriers Protect Against HAIs

Posted by HEPACART on May 8, 2019 12:08:40 PM

The goal of any hospital construction project should be to do good work without endangering any patients in the healthcare facility. There are many tools available to meet this goal, such as dust containment units, AnteRooms, negative air machines, and wall barriers.

When used properly, wall barriers can help prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infections, or HAIs. HAIs are a huge danger to patient safety in hospitals, and everyone who works within healthcare facilities should work towards reducing the spread of HAIs. Having wall barriers in place is a step towards stopping the spread of disease within hospitals.

 

What is a Wall Barrier?

The first step to understanding how wall barriers can help stop the spread of infection in hospitals is to know what a wall barrier is. Wall barriers are temporary barriers put in place to separate construction space from the surrounding facility.

While everything from plastic sheeting to advanced modular walls can technically be classified as a wall barrier, there are some options to choose from that are superior. These options are going to not only provide better protection against HAIs, but they are also better investments and provide better services.

 

What do Wall Barriers do? 

Wall barriers can do much more than just provide protection against infectious disease, although that is a key part of their functionality. Wall barriers are designed to do things like:

  1. - Contain dust and debris from construction sites
  2. - Help muffle the noise coming from construction sites
  3. - Direct the flow of people away from an area under construction
  4. - Create temporary on-site offices
  5. - Stop people from wandering into a construction zone by accident
  6. - Provide isolation rooms in the case of an emergency
  7. - Keep spaces clean and clear during construction

In addition to all of these wall barrier benefits, the right kind of barrier will also be easy to install and customizable to fit your needs.

 

Wall Barriers and Infection Prevention

Wall barriers provide a number of benefits to construction zones in healthcare facilities, and they can also help contain and minimize the spread of infectious particles that can be included in the debris from a construction site.

HAIs are incredibly dangerous, and there are about 99,000 deaths attributed to them each year. It is therefore critical to find tools that can help limit the spread of infectious disease. Wall barriers are able to help in this goal by keeping areas that may be contaminated with pathogens separate from the rest of the healthcare facility. By keeping these particles away from vulnerable patients in the hospital, wall barriers can help stop the spread of HAIs.

 

Traditional Barrier Materials

While there are plenty of ways to create barrier walls, there are some methods that provide better results than others across multiple metrics. Traditional materials include temporary drywall, plastic sheeting, and polycarbonate partitions. Let’s breakdown the benefits of using some of these materials.

Drywall is used as a solution because it provides a real-wall look and keeps sounds from spreading. It also is relatively stable for the duration of construction. Polycarbonate partitions provide a passable real-wall look and their durability and stability is similarly acceptable. Because polycarbonate partitions are reusable, you also get multiple uses out of them, which reduces environmental waste.

 

Downfalls of Traditional Barriers

While polycarbonate partitions and drywall barriers have a few benefits, they also have some problems. Drywall isn’t particularly durable and because it isn’t reusable it creates waste and won’t give you as much of a return on investment.

Polycarbonate partitions don’t provide any noise prevention due to the ability of sound to pass through polycarbonate sheeting. Not being able to prevent noisy construction from being heard throughout the healthcare facility is a major downfall of polycarbonate partitions. 

You may have noticed that we didn’t highlight the benefits of plastic sheeting, namely because there aren’t any that are notable. Plastic sheeting doesn’t look like a real wall, it doesn’t stop noise from spreading, and it isn’t stable or durable.

Plastic sheeting also creates a huge environmental waste by adding plastic into landfills every time you use it for a construction project, as plastic sheeting isn’t reusable and you need a lot of it to create barriers. Even worse, pathogens can cling to plastic sheeting and spread throughout a hospital, meaning it doesn’t stop the spread of HAIs.

 

The Benefits of STARC® Systems Wall Barriers

 A good wall barrier system will be able to help prevent HAIs, give the appearance of a real wall, stop the sound of construction from spreading around a hospital, and is durable and stable. Wall barrier systems shouldn’t be an environmental waste, and by having reusable, easy-to-clean barriers they are not only less of an environmental hazard, but they also provide ongoing savings and returns on investments.

STARC® Systems customizable wall barriers meet all of these criteria. With a foam core to reduce noise up to 50%, a 360 degree anchoring system, and a panel systems designed to blend into a healthcare environment, the STARC® Systems wall barriers are able to provide typical barrier benefits, along with helping stop the spread of HAIs in healthcare facilities.

Click on the link below to download the latest STARC® Systems catalog and see how these wall barriers can help your healthcare construction project today.

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