Hospitals can reduce pollution costs by understanding its sources.
The contaminants that affect air quality in healthcare facilities generally come from two sources.
Air quality is critical, but an often invisible aspect of creating a healthy indoor environment. In recent years, working to improve indoor air quality has emerged as a priority in the healthcare industry. Indoor air pollution is recognized as a serious health risk to all, but clean air is most important to those with other health conditions at play.
Poor air quality has been linked to a wide variety of negative health outcomes, from respiratory issues like allergies and asthma to nosocomial infections (i.e. infections not present during the patient’s admission). In other words, improving air quality not only helps people suffering from existing health conditions, but it also helps prevent any further symptoms in patients.
The contaminants that affect air quality in healthcare facilities generally come from two sources. First, there are contaminants that come from the outside environment typically found in crowded urban areas such as car exhaust, nearby industrial facilities, power plants, and general smog; or from fields of crops and herd animals for hospitals in rural areas.
The second source is from internally generated contaminants. The constant movement of people and equipment is always present in a hospital. Housekeeping crews move rapidly from room to room using various chemicals and cleaning agents in each. Internal laundry services wash and dry tons of sheets and blankets daily. Foodservice prepares and delivers meals throughout the entire building. The process of removing supplies used in ORs, such as tubing or packaging from single-use instruments, and prepping the room for the next procedure is a major undertaking. Of course, the patients themselves are an obvious source of contaminants through coughing or sneezing which can introduce pathogens into the airstream.
Air filters can help combat both sources of pollution, though particulate matter and gasses and vapors require different air filtration solutions.
Older facilities should update their air filtration equipment to benefit from the advanced equipment and engineering available today. Improving indoor air quality is also a surefire way to save money. According to one study conducted in California, researchers found that improving air quality would allow hospitals in the state to save as much as $193,100,184 over a two-year period between 2005-2007.
If you are looking for commercial air filtration systems for hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and other healthcare facilities, it’s important to work with reputable hospital air filter manufacturers and distributors with experience in this niche.