Health Care Associated Infections

How we Contribute to the War on this National Crises

75,000 people die every year from health care associated infections, or HAIs. That’s a staggering figure. Really, that’s an amazing thought! Nearly 10 times that number get infections while involved with health-care facilities. HAI’s increase the time patient’s spend in hospitals. They boost health care costs.

These numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) motivated us to take our clean construction practices to a new level. This standard begins with awareness. It starts with writing about it.

Good care-givers everywhere are practicing prevention whenever possible. Simple actions really make a difference. Hand washing, glove wearing and disinfecting with EPA-registered products goes a long way towards helping the cause.

As health-care builders we’re developing methods of increased knowledge. Knowledge about mold spores that thrive in unwanted moisture or even spots of previous water damage. From plumbing to wall coverings waterborne pathogens are among the first substances we think about when approaching health-care construction.

Here’s some other points to look for when a contractor renovates your medical office or facility.

Dust Containment

Use the right containment barriers. Dust is a natural result of construction but it can be minimized.


Even when a plan is in place it’s important to connect with building and medical management. Events in these settings change quickly. Checking-in allows contractors to avoid getting in the way of emergencies and adding to any potential infections that arise from unforeseen circumstances.

Microbicidal Products

Patching, priming and applying two coats of a microbicidal paint can keep moisture out. Knowing how and when to use these products avoids fostering microbe breeding grounds.


Bacteria loves little joints or crevices that can’t be cleaned. Properly caulking these areas goes a long way towards future disinfection.

Vinyl Ceiling Tiles

Many ceilings are porous. They absorb moisture and we know that’s not good. Use a sealant like vinyl so the surface above patients isn’t a contributing factor.

Wall Surfaces

Purple drywall is an excellent choice. That’s why we use it whenever it’s critical to avoid moisture. Certain types of wall paneling can also be good choices for medical offices and facilities it’s long-lasting and easy to keep disinfected.

Every day at least one in 31 hospital patients battle a healthcare-associated infection. Hiring the right health-care remodeler is another strong tool in the fight to control what we believe is a national crises. Infection Control Today put it this way

“Choose subcontractors with experience. Hire subcontractors carefully and provide training. Using subcontractors with healthcare experience can make all the difference, but also make sure they know the specifics of the infection control plan on every project.”

Experience. Specificity. Knowledge. It’s worth thinking about.

JP Carlton

J.P. Carlton

J.P. Carlton is the founder of Carlton Building Services, a Hampton Roads-based construction company.