Plumbing is by no means a glamorous job, more so when working in a hospital environment. Plumbers have to ensure that they do their jobs and take measures to ensure they aren’t infected with any strain of bacteria or virus in the hospital. On the other hand, they have to be cautious not to spread the contaminants to patients and staff. Here are some challenges that healthcare plumbing faces.
Dealing with Contaminants
Plumbers have to contend with safely disposing of any wastewater they come into contact with during their work. The contaminants have to be handled correctly to avoid any contamination occurring and spread throughout the healthcare facility. They need to follow protocols set for this disposal until they can hand the wastewater to the right agents, who then dispose of it safely.
Healthcare facilities have to have plumbing staff on hand to ensure that their plumbing fixtures are properly maintained, replaced, and kept up to code at all times. By keeping up with maintenance, facilities reduce the risk of an outbreak and injuries or death for their staff and the patients.
Healthcare facilities have to continuously contend with contaminants because of the foot traffic that is witnessed daily. People with different medical issues visit these facilities, and some have contagious illnesses that are passed by touch or are airborne.
Facilities have to keep surfaces sanitized continuously and sterilized to ensure that these outbreaks do not spread in their facilities. COVID-19 has exposed many flaws in many organizations and has increased vigilance in this area.
Facilities can look to technology to solve this issue, for example, by switching washing faucets to motion-activated ones or ones that use foot pedals to operate. This simple switch can have a massive impact on a health facility.
Changing Health Codes and Guidelines
With a changing world and changing contaminants that are more drug-resistant, health guidelines keep changing, and keeping track of them can be an uphill task. Healthcare facilities face the challenge of updating their plumbing systems to meet the guidelines set. The facilities can mitigate this issue by having professionals constantly checking their systems and updating them whenever the need arises.
Healthcare facilities have to contend with the ever-rising cost of maintaining their plumbing systems and staying up to code. With an ever-changing healthcare system, healthcare facilities have been forced to have a plumbing team on retainer due to advances in the designs and the need for regular maintenance.
Facilities have to ensure that they dispose of waste and other contaminants safely. Flushing down the toilet does not kill some pollutants, and standard water treatment procedures do not affect them. The pollutants can end up in the river systems that in turn cause other issues down the line. Some companies deal with biohazard waste, and facilities have to hire them at a cost to dispose of the waste for them.
Plumbers who work in healthcare facilities have to get medical attention from the facility when they sustain injuries. It includes anything they contract while working in the plumbing systems. From time to time, they get sued by the workers for illnesses they contracted while working on the facility and contend with the financial repercussions that come with it.
Plumbing in healthcare faces ever-changing guidelines to adhere to; hence it is up to the healthcare facilities to keep up and ensure that their systems are kept updated for their patients’ and workers’ well-being. Technology has advanced, and incorporating it into the facility may, in the long run, be cost-effective and keep the facility well-guarded from the spread of infections.