A lesser known factor that hospitals must ensure to maintain is air and temperature. It’s important that medical facilities maintain a proper level of air quality and temperature control, not just for patients but for staff as well. Maintaining proper temperature will control airborne disease from spreading. This is why temperature control and ventilation management are crucial for patient and staff health and safety.
Temperature and Disease Spread
Safety is a big factor in proper temperature control. Bacteria and disease thrive in overly-warm conditions, and will spread quickly in improperly ventilated rooms. By carefully monitoring temperature and humidity, the risk of airborne diseases spreading can be reduced significantly. The recommended room temperature for hospitals and medical facilities ranges by season. In the Summer moths this temperature is recommended between 73.4°F and 80.6°F. In the Winter and cooler months temperature is recommended to be kept slightly lower with the range being 75.2°F to 78.8°F. Humidity is also important as it can effect bacteria and disease spread. Recommended humidity in hospitals is between 50%rh and 60%rh.
Air quality and ventilation systems can be used to curb the spread of germs and disease. Some hospitals use negative pressure rooms to treat patients with infectious diseases. The purpose of these, and the ventilation systems they use, is keeping the air from these rooms from getting out to the rest of the facility. If the air is reduced in infectious area of the hospital, and pumped out, a negative pressure forms in the rooms in the area. Usually when a door is opened air rushes out of a room, but in this circumstance the air moves from out to in, keeping the infectious air to the interior.
Temperature and Patient Comfort
At the very minimum the temperature control of a hospital directly links to patient comfort. Both cold and hot temperatures can be a huge issue, especially for patients such as the elderly or babies in the maternity ward. With proper investment in a quality HVAC system, along with temperature sensors and alerts, a comfortable temperature level can be maintained.