• Art Goguen

How to Develop a Leading Construction/Renovation Program

Updated: Apr 1

for Construction Contractors working in Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities

To work effectively in healthcare construction/renovation projects, you need a commitment to continuous improvement.


Construction companies with a best-in-class healthcare construction program (one that emphasizes patient and healthcare worker protection) will be better positioned to win competitive bids in 2021 and beyond.


By committing to improvement – including the creation of a comprehensive written safety and environmental infection control program – you will be ready to compete at a best-in-class level while simultaneously reducing your own liability.


What does an effective program look like?


Continuous monitoring of your program compliance according to your client’s infection control risk assessment (ICRA) program (including periodic training refreshers for key supervisory personnel) is critical for any comprehensive program.


The hallmark of a truly mature program? Effective program reviews and continual assessments to a strategic goal of zero accidents and zero infections due to construction/renovation projects.

Understanding prequalification


Most hospitals perform prequalifying assessments of construction contractor’s ICRA programs to see if they align with their goals and objectives. This process also involves vetting key superintendents and project managers for their healthcare experience and reviewing the contractor’s OSHA compliance safety programs. These program reviews also include:

  • Effective contractor job hazard analysis

  • Meticulously engineered containment design

  • Thorough pre-task planning

  • Comprehensive work permit systems

  • Ongoing and engaged communication with the client

  • Commitment to patient safety and infection control goals

All these program elements are part of an understanding of environmental infection control for preventing infections associated with air, water, and other elements of the environment.


Working with subcontractors


A subcontractor’s ICRA training objectives should be well defined in advance and thoroughly reviewed so they closely align with the healthcare facility’s objectives. Subcontractor ICRA programs should then be periodically reviewed to ensure all new subcontract personal are adequately trained and prepared to perform construction work within the healthcare environment. Goals and objectives should be established upfront with the subcontractors to ensure that patients, healthcare workers, and all project personnel are kept safe. Lastly, it's critical to implement a continuous program review with set milestones for assessing both contractor’s and subcontractor’s safety and infection control compliance.


Resources


Here are a few resources that can assist you with program development and improvement:

  1. CDC Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities

  2. Facilities Guidelines Institute (FGI) & American Institute of Architects (AIA) Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Healthcare Facilities

  3. Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Infection Prevention Manual for Construction & Renovation

  4. State-of-the-Art Report: The Role of Infection Control During Construction in Healthcare Facilities | Bartley, JM, APIC


Need help developing your program?


For more than a decade, Higgins and Associates, LLC has worked with numerous contractors regarding hospital and other healthcare construction projects by supporting safety and infection control efforts. We can assist with your program development, provide training programs, perform containment design reviews, develop specialized ICRA training, and offer environmental infection control air and water sampling during construction projects within hospitals and healthcare facilities of any size.


For more information, contact Art Goguen, Director of EHS, at (303) 994-8122, or visit our website.


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