It is essential that mold must be kept away from healthcare sectors for the safety of the health of patients in the institution. However, it has been quite a challenge keeping mold away from these buildings despite the many measures that have been introduced to prevent mold from growing. In this post, we talk about why it is challenging to keep away mold which results in its prominence in the healthcare sector.
Consequences of Mold in the Healthcare Sector
A lot of incentives have been provided to healthcare facilities and hospitals to manage the mold within their facilities. Mold can cause structural damage that are costly to repair, resulting in potential lost revenue. However, more importantly, mold is directly linked to infections associated to healthcare. If proven that it is a healthcare associated infection, a facility can lose up to $60,000 for the lack of management and treatment. Based on the Affordable Care Act, the facility must cover the entire cost and this may also impact Medicare reimbursements. However, despite this, many facilities still find it very challenging to keep their space mold-free.
Purpose of Facilities
The first challenge faced with mold problems in the facility is the purpose of the facilities. Clinics and hospitals tend to serve residents or patients that have a high level of susceptibility and sensitivity. Regular people are constantly exposed to mold inside and outside of buildings, and this exposure has almost no effect on them, which is why they usually go unnoticed. However, if someone with a compromised immune system or weak health is exposed to that same level of mold, it is much more dangerous. Furthermore, some of the treatments within these healthcare facilities may temporarily heighten the susceptibility of patients, making them more sensitive to mold in the facility.
Environments of Healthcare Facilities are Prime for Mold Growth
Another challenge faced by such healthcare facilities and hospitals is the fact that the environment is suitable for mold growth. Mold grows well in places that are dark and requires material like drywall or dust to feed on. Healthcare facilities tend to be very complicated with wall and ceiling cavities that are prime for mold to grow. Furthermore, complex air handling systems that can control humidity, temperature and water act like an expressway for mold spores to reach far areas of the building, making it hard to evaluate potential mold growth locations. With the high amount of traffic volume in healthcare facilities, it facilitates mold movement within the facility. Healthcare facilities like hospitals are open all day long with people constantly stepping in and out. Mold can be brought in from the clothing of people who step into these facilities.
Presence of Moisture in Healthcare Facilities
Mold thrives in moisture. Healthcare facilities hold a lot of water and plumbing, which makes the environment suitable for mold growth. For example, there are miles of plumbing within hospital walls and ceilings to HVAC systems which may cause condensation. Collection of laundry and drying damp clothes are also sources of moisture. This means that healthcare facilities have a high risk of excess moisture and water damage which leads to mold growth.
Because it is difficult to keep mold from growing in healthcare facilities, mold tends to be prominent in these facilities. The best way to keep them out is to schedule regular maintenance and check for the growth of mold. If your facility requires mold remediation, feel free to contact Iris Environmental Laboratories today!