This month, the focus is on high-performance health care, and so it got me thinking about IAQ and infection control (IC) within hospitals. As a rule, the facility management department oversees IAQ, and a group from the medical staff oversees IC. It’s no secret that thousands of patients enter hospitals each year and while in the hospital are exposed to deadly viruses and/or diseases. In turn, many become sick from these infectious viruses, etc., and thousands will die each year from the exposure while they were being treated for another medical issue.
Now, I know a lot of health care institutions contract out many, if not all, of their facility management (a.k.a. support services). So why not outsource IC management? As crazy as this may seem, just look back over the past 20 to 30 years, and facility management has been able to get control of IAQ to the point where you don’t read about sick buildings any more. So why not have the in-house or outside facility management group take over the management of IC? Think about it — building managers would love to elevate their presence if they are in charge of infection control and the financial impact it has on a hospital.