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Revision to ASHRAE Standard for Ventilation of Healthcare Facilities - Comments Due on May 22!

Friday, May 12, 2017   (0 Comments)

On April 7th, the Standard Committee that manages ASHRAE Standard 170, Healthcare Facility Design, began a 45-day comment period (ending on May 22) on a proposed change that will impact healthcare operations covered by the HCSA Council.  The stated purpose of the addendum is to start the process of reorganizing the standard into three components - Hospital, Outpatient and Residential Health.  This would follow the Facility Guideline Institute's (FGI's) move to separate the Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities into three separate standards.

Although the main purpose of the addendum is to re-organize the standard as noted above, the proposed addendum also includes changes that lessen ventilation requirements for several types of healthcare spaces and activities (if they were occurring within outpatient or long term care environments), even though the activities and hazards could be identical to those that occur within traditional hospital environments.  In addition, when activities within a traditional healthcare environment are "programmed" to align with outpatient activities (e.g. ED, patient areas for chemo delivery...), the programmed outpatient areas only need to meet the reduced outpatient design and operational requirements despite the fact that they exist in a traditional hospital.  Given the national trends towards outpatient procedures and facilities, the results could potentially be significant to the industry.

A few examples of the proposed reductions to ventilation requirements include the following:

  *   General exam rooms: reduced from 2 & 4 air changes per hour (ACH) of outdoor air (OA) and total air (TA) respectively down to 1 ACH OA and no additional TA required.

  *   Special Exam rooms (rooms programmed for use by patients with undiagnosed gastrointestinal symptoms, undiagnosed respiratory symptoms, or undiagnosed skin symptoms):  reduced from 2/6 ACH of OA/TA respectively down to 2/4 OA/TA

  *   Patient areas used for chemotherapy administration:  Reduced ACH from 2/6 OA/TA [hospital treatment area requirement] down to 2 ACH of OA.  {This seems to contradict recent Alerts regarding hazardous drug exposures}

The public announcement and a link to the webpage where comments can be submitted are pasted below.  Even if you don't have time to submit detailed comments, short comments could be very useful:

45-day Public Review from

April 7, 2017 to May 22, 2017

1st Public Review of ASHRAE/ASHE Addendum n to ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2013, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities This proposed addendum starts the process of reorganizing the standard into three components - Hospital, Outpatient and Residential Health to follow the FGI Guidelines move to three separate standards. The intent is not to create any additional requirements for outpatient facilities, but to separate them from hospital requirements, and thus eliminate confusion over which requirements apply to which occupancies.

https://osr.ashrae.org/sitepages/showdoc2.aspx/ListName/Public%20Review%20Draft%20Standards/ItemID/1635/IsAttachment/N/170n(2013)_1stPPR+DraftFINAL.pdf

Also accessible from public review draft page: https://osr.ashrae.org/default.aspx

 

 

 

 

 


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