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Best Practices

How to Prevent Covid-19 Spread in Hospitals

By Christopher Hariz

on March 16, 2021

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital facility managers are under tremendous pressure to ensure the safety of their medical staff and patients. It falls under their direct responsibility to maintain an environment of care that limits the spread of interhospital (nosocomial) infections. Breakdowns in these controls can lead to the unnecessary loss of life, and the corresponding liability to the institutions and personnel involved. 

One of the most effective ways to control the spread of airborne infectious diseases, such as the novel Coronavirus, is strict adherence to proper room pressurization. Hexmodal’s team is working closely with medical facilities to develop a rapidly scalable, minimally invasive, room pressure monitoring system. 

Read on to learn how the future of room pressure monitoring requires only minutes of setup and provides instant failure alerts, digital records, and online monitoring without using in-house internet.  

Why is Room Pressurization Critical to Keeping Patients and Staff Safe?

Proper pressurization saves lives by limiting preventable infections. To ensure that hospitals take sufficient action, The Joint Commission has established clear and strict guidelines. 

1. Safety. Airborne infectious diseases such as COVID are extremely contagious and some of the hardest to control. Hospital airflow control is the most effective way to prevent the spread of airborne infectious diseases:

a) Negative Pressure Rooms prevent the spread of infection by eliminating movement of airborne pathogens from contaminated areas, like isolation rooms, into common areas  

b) Positive Pressure Rooms prevent the contamination of clean areas such as operating rooms

2. Strict monitoring requirements. TJC requires that hospitals implement strict inspection, testing, and maintenance procedures to proactively keep pressures in code. 

3. Record Keeping: These activities have to be carefully documented and readily available upon TJC reviews.

7 Common Problems with Current Room Pressure Monitoring Systems

Current room pressure monitoring systems can prevent the spread of nosocomial infection, however, they all are either prohibitively expensive to purchase and install widely, or provide non-constant monitoring and alerting. 

The current room pressure testing options are:

  • Analog Indicators (ball-in-a-wall)
  • Visual indicators 
  • Vaneometers
  • Differential Pressure Sensors
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No matter how simple or advanced, every type of these monitoring systems fall short in at least three of these criteria:

  • Non-alerting
  • Non-continuous monitoring
  • Labor Intensive
  • Inaccurate
  • Expense
  • Intrusive installation Processes 
  • Requires regular cleaning or calibration

How to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 With Smart Pressure Monitors

Advances in IoT devices and networks allow for barometric pressure monitoring that address the limitations of current options. 

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How does it work?

  • Two battery powered sensors are installed – one in the room and other in the hallway
  • Both simultaneously measure ambient air pressure on either side of the pressure wall
  • The devices wirelessly, and without using local networks or internet, report measurements to an online platform which calculates the differential
  • The platform records the results and alerts stakeholders when readings are out of compliance.

The resulting product provides reliable and continuous monitoring, installation in minutes, instant failure alerts and digital compliance records. 


Would you like to learn more? Get in touch with Hexmodal’s team

Chris Hariz




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