As a facility manager, you’re constantly thinking and planning to keep your facility safe and healthy and maintain a positive healthcare setting for everyone inside. But how can you prioritize well-being and order when your facility’s day-to-day operations are disrupted by healthcare construction or renovation projects?
The key is to create a substantial physical separation for both the visual appeal and safety concerns. Construction projects kick up potentially dangerous particles like bacteria and viruses that can cause irritation and disease if not kept in check. Because of this, keeping a healthy distance and physical barriers in place is critical. With so many options out there to make it happen, it can be difficult to pinpoint the most cost-effective and eco-friendly method to invest your facility’s budget into.
Are you looking for a manageable solution to minimize these risks and to meet air quality safety standards? Using the Infection Control Risk Assessment as well as ICRA-compliant equipment like reusable wall barriers, your facility will have the knowledge and the tools to create a safer environment for construction teams, medical staff, and patients alike. In this blog, we’ll detail how and why a reusable wall barrier boosts your facility’s ICRA compliance while providing a whole host of other functional benefits to your team.
Goals to Protect Hospital Construction Projects
Every hospital construction project has the same goal: to ensure excellent workmanship without compromising safety for everyone involved. Construction activities are sometimes more easily separated from active patient areas, such as when entire floors or hallways can be closed off. In most cases, however, a significant crossover exists between active construction work and bustling patient care areas.
Various tools, including dust containment units and anterooms paired with negative air machines, and wall barriers, can create more physical separation, which can lead to higher air quality during construction work. Depending on the location, scale, and level of disruption to the facility, you may choose to employ one, two, or a whole team of these pieces of infection control equipment to keep the spread of disease at bay.
Wall barriers, in particular, play a crucial role in preventing hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). HAIs are those infections that a patient did not come to the hospital with but became infected with due to being in the facility and around a variety of potentially dangerous airborne particles. Implementing these barriers is a proactive and eco-friendly step you can take toward limiting the impact of construction activities on your facility’s health, safety, and patient experience.
Equip Your Healthcare Facility With a Reusable Wall Barrier
While you may be familiar with the traditional low-cost option of a plastic sheet to isolate construction activities, a sturdier and more cost-effective reusable wall barrier may be a better fit for your facility if you’re thinking about longevity and cost per use. Not only that, but these long-term solutions provide a whole host of benefits like ease of use, adaptability, and more that the run-of-the-mill disposable options cannot.
What is a Reusable Wall Barrier?
A wall barrier is a temporary structure used in construction settings to effectively separate the work area from the rest of the environment, particularly in healthcare facilities, to prevent the spread of dust, debris, and pathogens.
5 Benefits of Using a Reusable Wall Barrier
Why should your facility switch from disposable plastic barriers to a more robust reusable option? Between being a more eco-friendly option and providing a higher quality experience overall, a reusable wall barrier is the clear choice to make the most of your facility’s investment.
1. Equip for Cleaner Construction
Construction sites are inherently dusty and chaotic. Workers are protected from excessive debris and dust exposure by using temporary wall systems to partition the site. Isolating the dirtiest areas helps keep the rest of the site cleaner and more organized, facilitating more structured and efficient work.
2. Easy to Use and Install
Convenience in the workplace is key. Consider how much easier your life could be without the initial step of setting up sheet plastic or building traditional walls. Reusable barrier walls, with their lightweight and easy-to-assemble sections, offer a convenient, efficient alternative, sealing effectively against walls, ceilings, and floors.
3. Built for Adaptability
With plastic disposable barriers for your construction project, what you see is what you get. With a reusable wall barrier system like our STARC® Systems LiteBarrier™ line, you have plenty of options to customize your protection for exactly what you need while limiting the waste associated with the disposable alternative.
A Filler panel kit for custom width or to fit around handrails or other protrusions
A STARC RealWall adapter to connect to STARC's sound-attenuating RealWall
A Polycarbonate adapter that can connect to competitors' lightweight panels
Flexible corner for 15-90° angles
T intersection to allow 90° mating of panels
Floor panel brace for when you don’t have a ceiling attachment
A Panel cart for easy mobility
4. Visually Appealing
The clean and professional appearance of these temporary barriers significantly impacts the patient experience. When a patient sees a plastic sheet surrounding construction, their impression of the medical center’s professionalism may not be as positive. With a sturdy and clean-looking reusable wall system, patients and staff alike will enjoy a more visually appealing look and a less chaotic atmosphere.
5. Waste Reducing
Unlike the standard plastic barriers of the past, these hardy walls are reusable for hundreds of jobs. Temporary containment systems like STARC LiteBarrier offer a significant return on investment for your facility when you’re not spending money every time you’re completing maintenance, renovation, or construction projects. Compared to the costs of building and demolishing traditional walls, these systems not only save money but also offer a competitive advantage with their clean appearance.
Investing in the Right Reliable Barrier
As you’re building your construction plans and accompanying infection control strategy, you’ll need to have a solution for physically isolating construction activities from patient care areas. While the convenience of the plastic disposable option might be tempting, you’ll find that your investment goes further when your facility opts for the long-term solution of a reusable wall barrier system. There is no competition between the two regarding infection control, dust containment, and physically blocking off active construction work from patient areas.
For most facilities, safer, healthier construction work is made easier with a great-quality wall barrier system like our STARC LiteBarrier. For medical facilities, hospitals, retail stores, offices, and beyond, this is the barrier solution that will last the test of time and help your facility make the most of your investment.
For more information on how to use these barriers in your facility, download our comprehensive guide on Infection Control Risk Assessment today.