When people think of a critical environment like the operating room in a surgical procedure, they often do not think of the factors that go into the procedure beyond the skill of the surgeon and medical team. This is not surprising – after all, these people are real heroes, spending long hours learning anatomy and physiology in an effort to help others. However, it is more than the surgeon, doctor, or nurse that affects the health of a patient in a hospital. There are many factors that go into patient care, one of which is the environment and equipment of the hospital. One thing that is often overlooked, for example, is the medical surgical critical environments control solution used to maintain airflow and climate in an area.
The HVAC system is particularly important in a surgical environment while a patient is being operated on. Surgeons, while skilled and intelligent in their own right, can only do so well in the environment they are placed in. Without a control system to properly maintain the integrity of the surgical room, it would be much more difficult for medical professionals to perform their job. If, for example, there are concerns about airflow from another room contaminating the air in a surgical environment, then the quality of care that a patient receives will decrease.
There’s a reason that the United States has a system of levels for medical facilities. In fact, there are five levels that classify trauma centers across the country, with Level V being the lowest level and Level I being the highest. Level I trauma facilities are usually teaching hospitals or campuses, and are required to provide a full-range of trauma services 24-hours a day, including pediatric services. These hospitals also must have a wide range of equipment available for use at any time. The hospital’s staff and services must also be available on short notice, with minimal waiting times. Receiving care for serious injury at a Level I hospital increases a patient’s outlook by at least a quarter.
These hospitals, in particular, must maintain the highest quality of equipment and environment in order to maintain their Level I status. Not only that, but these environments also must be held to the utmost standards in order to ensure a patient’s safety. For example, a growing concern in hospitals is the presence of harmful bacteria and viruses that can infect a patient, particularly patients who have just had surgery. Infection is an enormous complication in post-surgery, and in some cases, can cause death. This is just one example of the way a hospital environment can affect a patient.
Many factors go into determining the quality of a hospital and the professionals in it, and each of these things play a unique role in determining what level of trauma center a hospital is. In small clinics, the environment may have less of an impact on a patient, but in very large trauma centers, it is everything from the personnel to the ventilation system that determines a patient’s outlook.