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Got an ICRA for that?

An infection control risk assessment helps prevent exposure to environmental harm.



You may have heard of the “call before you dig” warning from public utilities. Health care has something similar — it’s ICRA before you remodel or build.

ICRA is a construction infection control risk assessment that determines the level of risk to patients, staff and visitors and defines the controls needed to reduce this risk.

Construction, renovation and demolition projects of any size carry a risk of exposure to dust, mold spores or contaminated water.

Certain measures have been shown to significantly lower the risk of infections during construction projects including:

  • Effective dust control through containment units and barriers.
  • Consistent use of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in clinics or units that care for immunocompromised and critically ill patients.
  • Creating pathways for moving debris, carts and people. (i.e., redirecting traffic).
  • Routine surveillance for adherence to ICRA process such as containment, clean walk-off mats and maintaining negative pressure.

What every staff member needs to know:

  • Every project requires an assessment, and larger projects require formal permits, before work starts. If the scope of a project changes, a new assessment is required.
  • If a construction barrier or enclosure is still present, the area is not ready for use.
  • Often an inspection by a multidisciplinary group — including Facilities, Real Estate, Infection Prevention, Environmental Services and operational leaders — is required before returning an area to service.
  • Only authorized staff (Facilities, Real Estate or contractors) may remove barriers or enclosures; operational leaders and end users are not authorized.


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