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The Art of Dust Containment, Revisited

HEPACART™  helps hospitals and contractors with the art of containment. We define the art of containment as:

  1. Choosing the best tools for the containment application.
  2. Utilizing those tools in a competent way.
  3. Looking 'good' doing it. ("good" = safe, serious and professional)

Because it has been more than a year since our last blog series on the art of containment, we thought it was time to revisit this critical piece of our business and yours. In this post, you will learn what dust containment is, which tools are most effective in enacting containment policies, and how you can start applying the principles of the art of containment today.

For a deeper dive into the art of containment, be sure to check out our series here:

The Art of Containment: An Introduction

The Art of Containment: Key Points in Patient and Worker Safety

The Art of Containment: Choosing the Right Methods

What is the Art of Containment? 

HEPACART™ is committed to the art of containment, as it applies to hospitals and healthcare environments. Dust containment involves keeping patients and employees safe from potentially hazardous airborne particles through the use of tested and proven technology and tools. Containment is always a consideration for construction and renovation projects in healthcare facilities where patients are present, but the truth is that even minor maintenance projects can put patients and employees at risk.

Despite the fact that there is substantial science behind the process and procedures of dust abatement, we call it an art because the methods that you use to control potentially hazardous dust must not only be chosen carefully but also implemented correctly.

Effective Dust Containment Tools

The best (and by best we mean most effective and trusted) tools for a dust containment project will not always be the same. Part of the art of containment is a thorough assessment of the individual needs of your project.

Mobile Containment

Projects that involve just one or two workers can benefit from the use of a mobile containment unit. These types of products are extremely effective for use in ceiling access projects, where dust and spores are stirred up above the ceiling tiles in a healthcare environment.

Stationary Containment

Mobile containment units are not always practical. Some construction and maintenance projects will need space for much more than one or two workers. In cases that require bigger, more stationary measures, consider portable walls or anterooms that feature filtration. Anterooms are easy to install at the entrances to construction sites to contain the dust generated by entire rooms or wings of a healthcare facility.

Questions to Ask

When choosing among the wide range of containment technology available, it is important to ask key questions about its efficacy and functionality. Some questions that you may find useful in finding the right containment solutions for you include:

  • Does the containment unit have true HEPA-filtration 99.97% or better and has the filtration system (not just the filter) been certified as such for ICRA compliance?
  • Do the negative air machine and fan assembly meet the air-flow requirements necessary to safely filter the air?
  • Does the unit clean up and sanitize quickly and easily? Better cleaning of the unit equals safer patients.
  • Will the containment enclosure resist tears at the areas of most common occurrence?
  • Are there clear steps of operation for the containment unit? If it is used correctly then the environment is safer for patients.
  • Is the seal to the ceiling or door air tight, spring-loaded or does it have another mechanism to make sure all dust exiting the ceiling is contained?
  • Does the process built into the containment make sense for patient safety? Examine this one closely as some are safer than others.

Start Applying Dust Containment Protocols Today

While the products you use are essential to a clean and safe environment, the art of containment relies on buy-in from all personnel, even those who are not directly involved in ceiling access, maintenance, or hospital construction. The most important thing you can do today to ensure your protocol is up to the right standards is to make sure that all staff members are on board for this critical patient safety measure. From there, you can begin to evaluate your current processes and products that keep containment and patient safety top of mind for everyone.

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