If not properly controlled, hospitals can be some of the dirtiest places around. Thankfully, there are standards and regulations to prevent that from happening. In fact, one of them is the standard ASHRAE 170 Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, which was published by ASHRAE and endorsed by ANSI and ASHE. Covering the areas that AHRAE 62.1 and 62.2 don’t include, ASHRAE 170 goes over ventilation requirements for patient care areas, resident care areas, and other related health support areas within all health care facilities.
ASHRAE 170 establishes design requirements for temperature, humidity, odor control, ventilation rates, and asepsis in buildings that are new, being renovated, as well as some special instances that this standard outlines. By putting out standards for any chemical, physical, and biological contaminants that the area may come in contact with, this standard prioritizes the respiratory safety of patients, residents, employees, and all visitors that enter the building.
Just like other ASHRAE standards, ASHRAE 170 is updated periodically via addendums. Committees for this organization work all the time, it’s known as a continuous maintenance process. This type of process allows for the standing committee to become more familiar with what is in front of them; therefore, allowing them to address necessary changes with a better mindset and overall process. Once those proposed addendums have been approved by the standing committee, then the organization puts the proposal in the hands of the public for some input. This gives the committee a chance to consider outside input from experts in the industry to then make further changes to the proposed addendum. The cycle continues until a consensus has been made.
With the ever-changing technology and knowledge of places like healthcare facilities, it is imperative that standards change alongside them. In the end, revisions reflect what we know as the best practice methods for keeping people safe and maximizing the level of efficiency that the necessary technology operates at.