Healthcare regulatory compliance helps protect your patients and staff from harm. This includes fire detection systems, evacuation plans, and utility management. HVAC maintenance and utility management for healthcare regulatory compliance helps prevent the spread of disease, such as Legionnaires’ disease. While hospital-acquired Legionnaires’ disease is uncommon, it’s important to protect those inside your healthcare facility from this dangerous infection. Every year, between 10,000 and 18,000 people in the U.S. contract Legionnaires’ disease. Survivors of the infection often face long-term health effects. Therefore, ensure that your healthcare facility is compliant to reduce the risk of a Legionella outbreak.
The Risk of Legionella Outbreak in Healthcare Facilities
There are several reasons why healthcare facilities are at risk for spreading Legionnaires’ disease. Therefore, you should ensure that your healthcare regulatory compliance is up to standards to decrease the risk of infection. Those who are most at risk for Legionnaires’ disease can be found in your healthcare facility every day. Heavy smokers, those with chronic lung disease, patients who use corticosteroids, and those receiving organ transplants are all at a higher risk of contracting the infection.
Most healthcare facilities use cooling towers as part of their HVAC system, which have been linked to Legionella outbreaks. Healthcare water systems may also play a part in the spread of Legionnaires’ disease. Luckily, accreditation organizations provide recommendations to help prevent the spread of diseases. Therefore, it’s important to follow these standards and maintain your healthcare regulatory compliance. Compliance can help protect your patients, visitors, and personnel.
Environment of Care Healthcare Regulatory Compliance
Both the Joint Commission and CMS have standards in place to minimize the risk of infection in healthcare facilities. During your healthcare facility audit, your surveyor will likely ask you about your HVAC and water management systems to ensure they are compliant. Both systems can help prevent the spread of Legionella.
HVAC Maintenance for Healthcare Regulatory Compliance
Most believe that Legionnaires’ disease occurs when a patient breathes in aerosolized water which contains the bacteria. Additionally, there are theories that cooling towers could be a major source of Legionella bacteria. Therefore, it’s important to clean your cooling towers regularly to prevent this dangerous disease. In addition, The Joint Commission recommends maintaining your HVAC system to prevent the spread of infection and help control airborne contaminants.
Accreditation Agency Compliant Water Management Systems
Another important source for the spread of Legionella is your healthcare facility’s water systems. The CMS requires healthcare facilities to develop and utilize water systems based on ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers) recommendations. These recommendations can help prevent the spread of Legionnaires’ disease in your facility and is an important part of your healthcare regulatory compliance.
If you are unsure about whether your facility is ready for accreditation, a pre-survey healthcare facility audit can help you find and solve areas of non-compliance. This not only improves your chances of achieving accreditation, but also helps reduce the risk of spreading dangerous diseases like Legionnaires’.
At Healthcare Life Safety Services, our technicians and inspectors provide expert solutions and recommendations before your accreditation surveyor arrives. Our team is well versed in healthcare life safety services, as well as environment of care standards to help you achieve accreditation. Before you schedule your accreditation audit, call our professionals at (281) 598-1359 to request a free estimate for our healthcare regulatory compliance services. We are here to serve you.