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How Construction Barriers Are Protecting Patients

Jeannie Cullen Schultz

Construction management in active healthcare facilities is challenging for many reasons, but patient safety and comfort always come first, and are part of the reason the work is so rewarding. Construction firms need to find ways to keep hospitals and clinics functioning optimally during construction, while also protecting staff and patients from potential hazards like airborne particles which can carry viruses and bacteria.  It’s no mean feat!

One way that construction firms are doing this by constructing an airtight containment barrier around the construction zone.  One such containment system, as written about in Healthcare Financial Management’s August 2016 issue, is STARC Systems (Simple Telescopic Airtight Reusable Containment) based out of Brunswick Maine.

It might seem like something out of a science fiction film, but by doing this, construction firms are able to quickly install, relocate, and dismantle their work area, while keeping construction noise to a minimum, and providing a clean and polished aesthetic to patients and staff working the area.  Not only does this help keep hospital staff and patients safe by eliminating disruption to day-to-day activities, it also reduces labor costs compared to other containment systems, and the panels — which snap together to create the barrier — can be used over and over again, saving money on future projects, too.

Our team has also used barrier systems with great success, in Elmbrook Hospital, Wisconsin Heart Hospital, and Advocate Aurora Hospitals. Owners loved the cost savings, the health benefits, and the lack of construction dust.

In the quest to keep hospitals operating smoothly during renovations, and patients and staff safe, a construction manager’s job is never done.

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May 28, 2024