In-room HEPA cleaners are a seemingly simple technology that offer healthcare organizations a quick and inexpensive way to augment their airborne infection isolation (AII) room capacity. However, insufficient planning, commissioning, and delegation of accountabilities compromise its safe and effective use, potentially resulting in AII rooms not meeting standards.
Phone interviews were conducted with sixteen hospitals geographically dispersed around the province. Of these sixteen hospitals, six site visits were made to observe and further understand how in-room HEPA cleaners were being used and supported. In addition, three vendors and two service providers of in-room HEPA cleaners were interviewed to garner their perspective on the overall application, use and support of this technology.
National and international standards and guidelines were researched to establish best practice. Also, an Infection Control Expert Panel (ICEP) was convened for their advice on the arising issues from the field research.
The evaluation determined that there are a wide variety of options associated with this technology and that there was a need for guidance regarding its safe and effective use. The presented recommendations can be used by those health care facilities looking to purchase in-room HEPA cleaners, and also by those who currently use this technology, to verify current practices.
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
Dr. Tony Easty
Pinkney, S., Sikich, N., Easty, A. (2008-Jun). In-room HEPA air cleaners: simple technology with complicated implications. Proceedings of the 31st Conference of the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society, [CD-ROM].
Pinkney, S., Easty, A. (2007). In-room HEPA cleaners: Current and recommended practices. Retrieved from: http://ehealthinnovation.org/wp-content/uploads/HEPAunits_report1.pdf
Pinkney, S., Easty, A. (2007). In-room HEPA Cleaners: Guidance Document. Retrieved from: http://ehealthinnovation.org/wp-content/uploads/HEPAunits_guidance1.pdf
Pinkney, S. (2008, Jun). New guidance document: In-room HEPA cleaners. Hospital News. p6.
University Health Network
Medical Advisory Secretariat, Ministry of Health and Long-term Care
Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC)
Dr. Tony Easty