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Clean Air In; Viruses and Bacteria Out: Protection By HEPA Filtration


The past several years in healthcare have proven that taking steps to combat bacteria, airborne particles, and viruses is not only critical to meeting regulations and gaining compliance from The Joint Commission’s office but is also a key step in preventing the spread of communicable diseases — both known and unknown. 

In any kind of healthcare setting, new infectious diseases, including antibiotic-resistant pathogens, pose significant challenges to even the most well-equipped hospitals. With limited information on these diseases, healthcare workers struggle to diagnose, treat, and prevent them effectively. Even with protective equipment like gloves, masks, and disinfecting products, healthcare centers may find it difficult to keep up with the spread of disease and infection with these measures alone. 

When infection control matters most, dust containment is a powerful way to boost your facility’s infection control strategy with equipment that is as adaptable as your facility. With dust containment equipment that is flexible, easy to use, and highly efficient, you can confidently keep your facility safe from the dangers of disease-causing airborne bacteria and viruses.

How to Equip Your Facility With Clean Air Through Healthcare Construction

As a contractor specializing in healthcare construction, you're already aware of the critical role dust containment plays in your projects. However, the reality of your job’s scope means that you can't personally oversee every small detail, and you’re often delegating key dust containment tasks to your crew. 

Improper dust management can have far-reaching impacts on the health of hospital patients and the integrity of your professional reputation. Your team must not only be aware of dust containment but also highly trained in effective dust containment strategies. When you are discussing these strategies with your crew, it's essential to stress the real and serious risks posed to patients by construction-generated dust. This isn't just about keeping a construction site clean for the sake of tidiness. It is about safeguarding the lives and health of those who are the most vulnerable. Additionally, keeping the area free from excess airborne dust is safer for construction crews as well. Ensuring your team understands the gravity of their role and equipping them with the right tools and knowledge isn't just good practice — it's a non-negotiable standard in healthcare construction for the benefit of the construction teams as well as everyone in the surrounding facility. 

Use HEPA Filtration to Boost Your Facility’s Air Quality

Maybe you already understand that dust containment is a high priority for your facility and you’re looking for ways to make the most of your investment in dust and infection control in 2024. 

What is a Dust Containment Cart?

A dust containment cart is essentially an enclosed mobile unit that traps away airborne dust an debris, sometimes with an added HEPA filtration scrubbing system. These carts ensure that the dust and air pollutants generated during construction are confined within the work area, creating a safer environment for both patients and construction workers. Using these carts, especially in projects near high-risk patient groups, is crucial for maintaining air quality and reducing the risk of airborne infections. 

Choosing the Right Cart in 2024

No matter what kind of construction project your facility is preparing to undertake, dust is inevitable. Dust containment carts provide a simple solution to the potential infection and spread of disease that can come along with these projects, no matter their scale. But what is it that makes dust containment carts so powerful in a healthcare setting?

  1. Effective Containment of Dust and Debris: The primary role of a dust containment cart is to keep dust and debris from construction work contained within a specific area. This is crucial in healthcare settings where the spread of particulate matter can pose serious health risks to patients, particularly those with compromised immune systems.

  2. Professional and Clean Worksite Appearance: Besides its functional benefits, a mobile dust containment cart ensures that the construction site within the healthcare facility maintains a clean and professional look. This not only reflects well on the facility's commitment to hygiene and safety but also minimizes the psychological impact that a messy construction site can have on patients and staff.

  3. Minimal Space Intrusion: One of the smart design aspects of these carts is their compact footprint. This ensures that the necessary containment does not intrude on your facility's valuable floor space.

  4. Adaptability to Complex Environments: Healthcare facilities are not straightforward construction sites. They are complex environments with unique challenges, such as a ceiling tile situated above a protruding utility box. A well-designed dust containment cart can adapt to these varied and unpredictable scenarios, ensuring compliance and safety throughout the entire process.

Employ the HEPACART® Approach

Don’t know where to begin with a trustworthy and high-quality dust containment unit that won’t overwhelm your budget? The HEPACART® Classic or HEPACART Auto-lift may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. 

Constructed with sturdy, easy-to-clean aluminum, it's ready to go whenever you need it; no assembly required. This cart isn't just about containing dust – it's about making jobs like ceiling tile removal or electrical work above ceilings in hospitals, data centers, and server rooms safer and more efficient. What sets the HEPACART Classic apart is its embedded HEPAFORCE® AIR Negative Air Machine & Scrubber, independently inspected and certified for unbeatable reliability. With its smooth, swivel-lock, non-marring casters — each one strong enough to support 900 lbs — moving around sensitive environments is a breeze. 

Some of the most noteworthy features include: 

  • Durability: Proven by units still in active use since 2006, it's a long-term investment that pays off.
  • Flexibility: Ready for anything, with field upgrades and retrofit options keeping you prepared for any new project demands.
  • Productivity: Designed for safe and efficient mobility, the HEPACART Classic enhances productivity and pays for itself.
  • Safety and Sustainability: Built with patient and worker safety in mind, it also cuts down on construction waste.
  • Professional Look: The design isn't just about function; it reflects the seriousness and importance of infection control.

The ICRA Matrix: A Perfect Match

The Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) matrix is a critical tool in determining the appropriate level of dust containment needed for different types of construction activities. It outlines specific measures for various risk levels, emphasizing the use of dust containment carts equipped with HEPA filtration negative air machines. This ensures that the spread of bacteria and viruses is minimized even during construction, especially in areas housing vulnerable patients.

Navigating ICRA Precaution Classes With Effective HEPA Filtration

ICRA categorizes projects based on patient risk groups and types of construction work, ranging from routine maintenance to extensive renovations. Based on a project’s precaution class — ranging from I to V — ICRA provides facility managers and their teams with specific infection control measures and guidelines to follow. Integrating dust containment carts into your strategy, regardless of the risk group, can significantly enhance safety and compliance, making them a powerful addition to any project's ICRA implementation. 

For example, in a simple, class I maintenance project, a dust containment cart can be brought in as a precautionary measure to limit even minimal exposure to airborne dust particles and protect from the potential spread of disease. In a more intense class V construction project, one or more dust containment carts will be critical to maintaining safety and compliance for your facility until the project is completed. 

Championing Health and Safety With HEPACART Dust Containment Systems

Choosing HEPACART for your dust containment needs means choosing peace of mind. It’s about knowing that you’re doing everything you can to protect your patients, staff, and visitors. So, if you’re looking to level up your dust management and want to learn more about your options to combat bacteria and viruses, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s packed with information to help you make the best choice for your facility.

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