Anyone in the healthcare construction knows that patient experience is the number one priority. Patients come to hospitals and healthcare clinics to heal, receive treatment, and give birth. Healthcare facilities want to provide patients with the best possible environment to heal in. This means comfortable rooms, the right temperature settings, and minimal noise and disruption for the patients and visitors.
Like any other building, healthcare facilities undergo construction. Additions and renovations allow hospitals and clinics to accommodate more patients, offer more services, and upgrade patient rooms. During construction, contractors have the difficult task of ensuring ICRA (Infection Control Risk Assessment) standards are met to protect patients while also minimizing disruption and noise disturbances as much as possible.
Disruption avoidance and noise reduction are some of the most difficult challenges for contractors working on healthcare construction projects. Fortunately, there are a few best practices that can help contractors successfully deliver projects in healthcare environments with minimal interruption or disturbance to patients or staff.
Disruption Avoidance Plans
One of the single best ways to reduce or eliminate disruption in healthcare construction is creating a disruption avoidance plan. As early as the design and preconstruction phases, disruption avoidance plans should be developed for each phase of work. During the planning process, factors such as noise, vibration, utility interruptions, security, etc. should all be considered. These plans should be created with the entire project team in mind. In addition, part of the planning process should include capturing opportunities for prefabrication and offsite construction to reduce the amount of construction occurring on campus or inside the facility. This is where another best practice comes in to play – modular walls are a great way to reduce noise and disruption time on healthcare projects.
To aid in minimizing patient disruption, many healthcare contractors are using modular, prefabricated barrier systems instead of building the traditional sheetrock and stud walls on site. Prefabricated, hard barrier systems like STARC Systems can simply be wheeled in and out of hospitals where they are assembled quietly and efficiently. In addition to reducing noise and disruption to patients and hospital employees, these prefabricated containment solutions are sustainable. Traditionally, sheetrock walls would be built and then torn down at the end of the project. As you can imagine, that creates a lot of material that has to be thrown away at the end of the project. The modular wall systems can simply be disassembled and used on another project. This allows contractors to reduce their waste and the expenses that come with sheetrock walls.
Another benefit of these containment systems is they meet, and sometimes even exceed ICRA requirements. The panels provide an airtight seal once installed and can be easily disinfected ensuring proper infection control. Providers like STARC Systems even offer negative air panels that filter out dust and construction debris which is essential for operating rooms, surgical centers, and hospital patient rooms.