Air quality is a big concern in hospitals and healthcare buildings. After all, poor air quality and airflow management can lead to the spread of infection. It can make sick patients sicker and can newly infect healthy staff members or visitors.
But there is a problem with hospital air quality testing. A prehistoric problem. The Testing and Balancing industry is a dinosaur.
Although hospitals have certain air quality and air flow standards, many are not meeting the standards to which they agree. On paper, it is great to have guidelines and regulations, but even the highest standards do no good if they aren’t reliably and consistently enforced.
Here are a few roadblocks within the current system that prevent healthcare facilities from meeting their own standards—and what Life Balance Technologies is doing about it.
Expense. Air Balance Testing is expensive. The initial report for a building is so expensive, that the process serves as a bidding barrier for competitive bids. Life Balance Technologies makes the initial reporting cheaper, so subsequent infection control efforts can proceed at a fraction of the cost. This allows for exponential repetitions of testing for on-going compliance, maintenance and control.
Incomplete mapping. Traditional air balance tests cover only about 15-20% of a facility’s floor plan. Life Balance Technologies’ SāfAir software creates a virtual map of a building’s life safety drawings which covers almost 100% of a facility’s floor plan. Air balance contractors can enter measurements for critical rooms and areas into the virtual map. Once a technician enters data, the contractor will receive immediate feedback whether the room “Passes” or “Fails” the required standards.
Avoidance. Infection Control Reporting is sometimes avoided. We are solving that problem by including parameter tests in our reporting and audit. Our program relays the conditions of a building in a way that is accessible to risk management officers, c-level officers and infection control officers. Our product allows decision makers to see conditions clearly and remedy those conditions.
Three years from now, every hospital in the United States will have had another accreditation cycle. Over the next three years, every facility will have to explain what they are doing to control infection. We know that the current compliance system is not enough. It has to be better. The existing forms, reports and processes are part of the problem, and we are determined to be part of the solution.