The initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for infection control measures in healthcare facilities. The pandemic response will continue to be a priority over the next 18-24 months and place additional pressure on staff, supplies and resources. Compounding this strain is the fact that hospitals will face new challenges in facilities and infection control management as restrictions on non-essential activities and elective care start to ease. This new normal will require ongoing attention on hospital environmental services, disease control, treatment and prevention.
Healthcare facilities must prepare for this next phase armed with strategic protocols and tools. With increased need for environmental control, the use of integrated environmental monitoring systems, visual communications and cutting-edge software can help manage infection control, patient isolation and vaccination storage. Systems such as Primex OneVue will be key components in successful facilities management enabling healthcare leaders to focus on the well-being and safety of patients, visitors and staff.
Next Waves and New Challenges
As the current pandemic shifts into a new phase, healthcare leaders are determining how to level up their facilities to bring valueable lessons learned into the next era of patient care. They will need to prepare for increased trauma patients and psychiatric patients, replenishment of PPE and hospital environmental services capacity, among a myriad of other new concerns. These challenges are immediate and will be considerations for future preparedness planning.
The new healthcare landscape requires the ability to effectively manage infection control between critical or infectious patients and non-critical patients, scale up the size of isolation areas and provide increased storage for supplies and vaccines. Hospitals and healthcare facilities must ask themselves if they are prepared to address the following questions:
- How will we manage the flow of patients to reduce chances of infection?
- Will we need separate entrances for non-essential surgeries and appointments?
- How will we notify staff, patients and visitors quickly of an infectious disease event?
- Are the tools we currently have properly equipped to manage and monitor infectious disease spread?
- Will these tools be able to help us comply with stricter infectious disease prevention measures?
- How will we ensure we have enough capacity to safely store sensitive assets like vaccines and patient samples?
- How will we ensure our caregivers properly manage their time and coded events in the middle of high-stress situations?
Essentially, hospitals face increased demand on all resources. Automated environmental monitoring can provide essential infection-control measures and asset protection while alleviating some of the pressure on caregivers.
Environmental Monitoring in the New Normal
Now, more than ever, environmental monitoring and control are an essential part of day-to-day hospital and healthcare facility operations. The increased need for negative pressure isolation rooms, new restrictions on visiting hours and larger climate-controlled storage capacity are all elements that will need to be managed for the foreseeable future.
The implementation of automated differential pressure sensors, coupled with temperature and humidity monitoring for air quality and temperature monitoring for refrigerated storage can support the new standards of high-level healthcare. Primex OneVue provides a comprehensive solution to these new and ongoing challenges.
The Primex OneVue Solution Can Help
When working in tandem with each other, the suite of Primex OneVue Sense environmental monitors and Primex OneVue Monitor software provides automated remote monitoring of all environmental control data. As a comprehensive healthcare data solution, the system can be configured with temperature and humidity sensors, differential pressure sensors, storage temperature sensors and water leak sensors and contact closure sensors to meet all the requirements for infection control and policy compliance.
Additionally, Primex OneVue Sync can include a synchronized clock system with analog or digital displays to help staff and visitors with time management. When alerts and messaging are needed, the OneVue Notify InfoBoard can relay immediate visual notification that aligns protocol in busy environments. The InfoBoards provides individual patient status, such as ‘isolation’, or can quickly disperse facility-wide alerts. Both the OneVue Sync and Notify InfoBoard solutions provide the precision time synchronization needed to keep concise documentation of events.
OneVue Environmental Monitoring Sensors, as well as OneVue Sync and Notify InfoBoard displays, can be easily installed throughout a facility with minimal requirements. The sensors are designed to be portable and can be quickly removed for use in a different location if needed. Combined with the OneVue Monitor software application, the system can be customized to capture relevant information, create targeted data reports and send alert notifications to system administrators via call, text or email.
As healthcare facilities adapt to new standards of infection control measures, precision environmental monitoring tools that support new protocols and strategies increasingly become essential. Primex OneVue provides the tools needed to meet new regulatory guidelines and deliver the highest level of environmental integrity for patients, staff and critical resources.