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ICRA 2024: Certified Infection Control Solutions for Healthcare Managers


Healthcare facilities are, by definition, a place where members of the community should be able to come to restore their health in a safe environment. When the unchecked spread of infection threatens that safety, your entire facility is at risk of serious illness or death. Approximately 99,000 people die in hospitals every year due to secondary infections that they contract during their hospital stay. This is before introducing the increased risk of construction or renovation projects that can further increase the dangers to vulnerable patient groups. Explore ICRA 2024 and how you can continue to protect your facility.

While infection control is critical for maintaining a healthy environment for patients and staff, it's also a fundamental part of your facility’s regulatory compliance and overall reputation. For facility managers in need of a structure to empower their infection control strategy, the Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) and matrix provide comprehensive guidance to help you transform your infection control approach for both better compliance and enhanced patient care. 

Why Effective Infection Control Risk Assessments Are Crucial for Your Hospital

Even regular hospital activities can stir up dangerous airborne particles, but construction and renovation projects bring another layer of risk with invasive activities like opening walls, disturbing ceiling tiles, jostling wiring, and more. With ICRA 2.0, you’ll have a full understanding of how each activity impacts your facility and how to mitigate the risks.

How to Leverage the ICRA Matrix for Enhanced Hospital Safety

The ICRA matrix is an essential tool for healthcare facilities, helping to simplify the process of managing construction-related risks. Using the updated ICRA 2024 matrix comes down to two key factors: 

  1. Who the construction work will impact 
  2. The type of construction activities taking place 


It starts with evaluating who in your facility could be impacted by the construction or renovation — grouping them into categories from low to highest risk. Next, you determine the type of project you're undertaking, whether it’s routine maintenance or a full-scale renovation, categorized into four levels based on how much disruption it might cause. Using this information, you can pinpoint the right precaution class for your project, from I to V, each specifying necessary infection control steps. This structured approach helps you and your infection control teams craft a tailored strategy to keep patients safe and ensure your project complies with health standards and regulatory compliance. 

How to Conduct Regular Risk Assessments

Your infection control strategy is only as powerful as the processes you put in place to maintain a high standard of safety. After initially identifying the preventative measures that you’ll implement to keep your hospital healthy and compliant, make sure that you and your infection control team continually keep an eye on infection control measures. 

Your regular assessments may include: 

  • Regularly reviewing and adjusting construction plans in coordination with facility managers to make sure that everyone is on the same page. 
  • Monitoring adherence to safety protocols daily and adjusting plans weekly to address any emerging issues or potential risks before they become a larger problem. 
  • Continually checking negative air pressure and other environmental controls to prevent unintentional contamination. 
  • Preparing for emergencies and unplanned outages with predefined procedures to protect patients and staff from the spread of disease even during an unexpected event. 
  • Providing continuous education and training on ICRA guidelines to all involved parties in your facility to maintain a high level of awareness and compliance.

By monitoring preventative measures regularly, healthcare facilities can significantly improve patient outcomes, reduce mortality rates, and enhance the overall patient experience within the facility.

Staying Up-to-Date With Infection Control Guidelines

Beyond ICRA, we also recommend that facility managers familiarize themselves with the resources and standards set by government organizations like the CMS, CDC, and OSHA to best protect their facilities and maintain regulatory compliance. 

Together, these resources support healthcare facilities in maintaining high standards of infection control during all forms of construction and renovation.

Explore Other Resources to Stay Informed

While government agencies and resources are an excellent source of information and guidance for infection control during construction, they can also prove overwhelming with the sheer amount of data at your fingertips. To make your pursuit of updates and information easier to maintain, take advantage of bite-sized updates from online courses, webinars, and conferences to not only stay up-to-date with changes and advancements but also as a tool to keep an open dialogue with your colleagues about infection control best practices over time. 

Empower Your Team With Training and Certifications

Ensuring the safety of our healthcare facilities is about more than compliance. It means that you’re proactively equipping your staff and contractors with the necessary knowledge to effectively manage and implement infection control. The Infection Control Risk Assessment certification is crucial, empowering your team to maintain the highest levels of care and safety during all construction and renovation projects. However, it takes more than a one-time understanding of what is ICRA, as well as how to use the matrix, guidelines, and standards.

Regular and continuous training is essential for compliance with ever-changing industry standards, and keeping up with these changes is key to helping your team stay informed and ready. This ongoing education is vital because it improves the overall safety and efficiency of your healthcare operations, minimizes infection risks, and improves patient and staff safety outcomes.

How to Get Certified in Infection Control

  1. Understand the Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the prerequisites for the ICRA certification, which might include specific educational backgrounds or professional experiences.
  2. Choose a Certified Program: Select an ICRA construction certification program that is recognized and meets the latest standards and guidelines.
  3. Complete Required Training: Engage in comprehensive training programs that cover essential topics such as risk assessment, prevention strategies, and emergency responses.
  4. Pass the Certification Exam: Successfully pass the ICRA training exam that assesses your knowledge and skills in infection control practices.
  5. Engage in Continuing Education: Participate in ongoing education and training sessions to maintain certification and stay updated on the latest practices and technologies.

How to Choose Powerful Infection Control Equipment 


Investing in the right tools and resources is essential to maintaining a safe environment for both patients and staff. Unsure where to start? Here are a few types of equipment that can support effective infection control in your healthcare facility: 

  • Mobile Containment Units: ICRA carts like the HEPACART® Classic are designed to trap and filter dust during construction, adhering to all ICRA classes. These units are equipped with HEPA filters that purify the air, preventing contaminants from circulating within your facility.
  • Anterooms: Similar to a buffer zone, Anterooms like the HEPACART AnteRoom act as ICRA barriers at entry points to construction zones, preventing dust and pathogens from escaping into clean areas. They are quick to set up and effective at maintaining negative pressure, ensuring that construction debris and contaminants are contained.
  • Customizable Wall Barriers: Products such as STARC® Systems LiteBarriers™ and RealWalls™ offer flexible, airtight solutions to physically separate construction zones from sensitive areas in your hospital. These barriers are designed to be both noise-reducing and robust, adaptable to various spaces and project sizes.

Selecting a Reliable Infection Control Equipment Partner

Once you know the kind of equipment that you’ll invest in, the next more important choice you’ll make is the manufacturer that you purchase from. 

To make the more of your investment, you’ll want to…

  • Check for Compliance and Certifications: Ensure that the equipment meets all relevant standards and regulations, such as ICRA guidelines and HEPA filter requirements. Certification from recognized health and safety organizations adds an extra layer of trust.
  • Assess Product Durability and Flexibility: Choose equipment that is not only durable but also flexible enough to adapt to different job requirements. 
  • Prioritize Sustainability: Opt for suppliers who emphasize sustainability in their products. 
  • Consider After-Sales Support: Good vendor relationships don’t end at purchase. Consider suppliers that offer robust after-sales support, including training, maintenance, and comprehensive service agreements.

By carefully selecting the right equipment and suppliers, you ensure that your healthcare facility can effectively manage and mitigate the risks associated with construction and renovation projects. 

Strengthening Your Infection Prevention Strategy

No infection control strategy is perfect. Even when things are going smoothly, there is always room for improvement. Whether you’re noticing a slight change that can improve efficiency or a potential problem area, you must take action against the potential spread of infection in your facility. Regular checks can not only help you detect issues earlier but also foster a culture of continual improvement and staff engagement around infection control measures. 

Identifying potential gaps in infection control is only the first step to making significant improvements. When you find an area where your process could be honed, your solutions might include: 

  • Training and Retraining Staff: Ensure that all staff members are up-to-date on the latest infection control procedures and understand their roles in maintaining these standards.
  • Updating Equipment and Technologies: Invest in the latest infection control technologies and maintain existing equipment to ensure it functions properly and complies with the latest standards.
  • Engage With Frontline Workers: Regularly speak with staff who are directly involved in day-to-day operations. They often provide insights into practical challenges and potential risks not evident from higher-level reviews.

Move Forward With Improved Healthcare Infection Control 

With ICRA 2024, healthcare facilities not only comply with legal requirements but also advance their mission to deliver safe, high-quality care. Get started today by downloading our Infection Control Guide for Facility Managers and empower your hospital with health and safety for all.

Read Infection Control For Facilities Managers Guide

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