• Art Goguen

ASHE Publishes Updated Infection Control Risk Assessment


On April 20, 2022, the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association published an updated infection control risk assessment called ICRA 2.0, which promotes and directs interdisciplinary infection prevention in healthcare facilities during construction, renovation, and maintenance. ASHE has developed a companion resources to support user interface with a new ICRA 2.0 Tool, ICRA Permit and e-Learning course, optimizing its effectiveness for patient, staff and visitor infection prevention.


The first formal ICRA was introduced in the 1996 edition, last updated in 2021 (for COVID-19), by the Facility Guidelines Institute’s Guidelines for Design and Construction for Hospital and Healthcare Facilities. ASHE, with other organizations and experts on the field, created a step-by-step ICRA process and subsequently pursued efforts to clearly delineate what would be included in the ICRA process.


In July 2020, ASHE put together a multidisciplinary team including representatives from infection prevention, industrial hygiene, construction, facilities management and authorities having jurisdiction to evaluate and improve the existing ICRA guide to better serve health care organizations.


One major change to the new ICRA 2.0 is the introduction of a fifth Class of Precaution changing the dynamic of Table 3. This new table expands on the use of containment system that run from floor to the deck above and the use of particle counters to verify containment and HEPA filtration efficiencies. Another aspect is the introduction of Table 4 which is a checklist of additional controls and systems impacted for the areas surrounding the containment system including a new section on noise and vibration mitigation strategies.


In 2022, ASHE launched an e-learning course, “ICRA 2.0: Improving Patient Protections,” which instructs learners to apply the tool to the health care environment, emphasizing multidisciplinary input.


Higgins and Associates, LLC is ready to assist with your ICRA program development, containment design training, and containment monitoring and sampling for your most sensitive construction projects within your hospital(s) and/or healthcare facilities.


For more information, contact Higgins and Associates' Director of EHS, Art Goguen, at (303) 708-9846, Ext 105. You can also visit higgins-and-associates.com to learn more about our healthcare EHS services.


References:

· https://www.ashe.org/ashe-publishes-updated-infection-control-risk-assessment

· https://www.ashe.org/system/files/media/file/2022/05/ICRA-2.0-FORM-202205%20Final.pdf

· https://www.ashe.org/system/files/media/file/2022/05/ICRA-2.0-Permit-202205.pdf

· https://www.ashe.org/education/icra-elearning

· https://www.hfmmagazine.com/articles/4334-ashe-publishes-revised-infection-control-risk-assessment-guide