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HERD ; 14(2): 38-48, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-975844


OBJECTIVES, PURPOSES, OR AIM: To identify design strategies utilized in airborne infection isolation and biocontainment patient rooms that improve infection control potential in an alternative care environment. BACKGROUND: As SARS-CoV-2 spreads and health care facilities near or exceed capacity, facilities may implement alternative care sites (ACSs). With COVID-19 surges predicted, developing additional capacity in alternative facilities, including hotels and convention centers, into patient care environments requires early careful consideration of the existing space constraints, infrastructure, and modifications needed for patient care and infection control. Design-based strategies utilizing engineering solutions have the greatest impact, followed by medical and operational strategies. METHODS: This article evaluates infection control and environmental strategies in inpatient units and proposes system modifications to ACS surge facilities to reduce infection risk and improve care environments. RESULTS: Although adequate for an acute infectious disease outbreak, existing capacity in U.S. biocontainment units and airborne infection isolation rooms is not sufficient for widespread infection control and isolation during a pandemic. To improve patients' outcomes and decrease infection transmission risk in the alternative care facility, hospital planners, administrators, and clinicians can take cues from evidence-based strategies implemented in biocontainment units and standard inpatient rooms. CONCLUSIONS: Innovative technologies, including optimized air-handling systems with ultraviolet and particle filters, can be an essential part of an infection control strategy. For flexible surge capacity in future ACS and hospital projects, interdisciplinary design and management teams should apply strategies optimizing the treatment of both infectious patients and minimizing the risk to health care workers.

Built Environment/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Patients' Rooms/organization & administration , Built Environment/standards , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Pandemics , Patient Isolation/standards , Patients' Rooms/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation/standards