How are hospitals in the United States measuring up to infection control standards that can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases?
According to ASHE Health Facilities Management Magazine, many healthcare facilities need more time to meet the recommended standards.
On June 21, 2021 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released emergency temporary standards that require healthcare employers to implement a COVID-19 plan that identifies and controls COVID-19 hazards in the workplace. OSHA is the federal administration that ensures safe and healthful working conditions for U.S. workers. The standards included guidelines for monitoring and updating heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, and gave a compliance deadline of July 21, 2021.
However, following the release of the standards, the American Hospital Association (AHA) wrote to OSHA requesting a 6 month extension of the compliance deadline. The AHA represents 5,000 U.S. hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations in the United States, including more than 270,000 affiliated physicians and 2 million nurses.
According to the AHA, “Hospitals and health systems are just now emerging from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our members have told us that they need more time to implement the many new requirements contained in the 916-page ETS.”
The new OSHA guidelines seek to limit infection risk to unvaccinated patients and staff members at healthcare facilities. At any given time, one in 31 hospital patients have a healthcare-acquired-infection (HAI), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, recent medical journals estimate that one out of six COVID-19 cases are healthcare workers.
The full letter from the American Healthcare Association can be viewed here.
Life Balance Technologies helps hospitals and other companies easily analyze airborne infection control conditions and effectively manage their HVAC systems. By streamlining the process for compliance, auditing, and reporting, we help reduce costs and save lives.