Building Performance

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 Issue 4 - Special Healthcare Issue   VOLUME 1 ISSUE 4  
Industry Perspectives
Tips from the Experts
News and Events
From the Files
Service Spotlight
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Industry Perspectives
JCAHO's New Survey Method Means Changes to Environment of Care Preparation
by Steven B. Bloom, M.S.

Steven B. Bloom, M.S. A new survey method instituted by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has dramatically altered the way that Environment of Care (EOC) professionals need to prepare for their inspections. "It's one of the biggest changes in survey methodology the Joint Commission has ever undertaken," said Steve Bloom, Director of Environmental Affairs at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, the first major teaching hospital surveyed under the new program.

Tips from the Experts
Infection Control in the Healthcare Environment During Construction
by Dennis L. Tremblay, Certified Fire Protection Specialist

Health care institutions are continually evolving as the administration and staff struggle to keep ahead of the curve for advances in technology, while at the same time treating patients and providing quality service. To make the changes that are required, institutions must devise policies and procedures to allow construction projects to take place, while at the same time maintaining services to patients and other functions that are critical to the institution’s survival. In some cases, this means working in close proximity to severely compromised or critically ill patients or even in areas adjacent to functioning operating rooms. Many facilities have been living with this evolution for many years and have devised construction procedures that rely heavily on isolation.

From the Files
Responding to Indoor Air Quality Issues
An Emergency Response Plan Model
by EH&E technical staff

This article describes an emergency response plan that has proven successful in several healthcare institutions where EH&E provides management support for the Environmental Health and Safety programs. It may be useful as a comparison to your existing program, or as the basis for a new program.

Typical IAQ Issues in a Healthcare Setting
A Practical Guide to Issues and Actions
by EH&E technical staff

This article describes the most common indoor air quality (IAQ) complaints that we encounter while managing the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) programs at larger research healthcare institutions. The response to each individual situation will obviously vary, but the following briefs and lists of questions should at least provide a solid starting point.

Service Spotlight
A New Web-Based Environmental Health and Safety Training Program

EH&E introduces a new web-based Environmental Health and Saftey program that is customized to your needs.

News and Events

Shared Visions and New Pathways - How will JCAHO's new survey process affect you? - EH&E will be offering two November seminars to help you better prepare for the new survey process, primarily focused on the Environment of Care arena.  Our speakers will give you practical insights based on first hand experience to help you better prepare your institution.  Check the EH&E seminar schedule at for final dates and locations as they are posted.

An EPA Preparedness Checklist is available for EH&E's Hospital Compliance Assistance Program, designed to help institutions self-assess their compliance preparedness in seven key areas.  To obtain a free copy, or for information on EH&E's Initial Assessment and other compliance support programs, email us at 

Legal Advice in IAQ for Healthcare Facilities: Avoiding Infections Related to Healthcare Construction, written by John McCarthy, Sc.D.,C.I.H., of EH&E and David Governo, Governo Law Firm LLC, published in Indoor Environmental ConnectionsTM, February 2004. Copies are available upon request to

Progress on the No-Lift Front - An Interview on Healthcare Ergonomics with Guy Fragala, Ph.D., C.S.P., P.E., published in Nursing Homes Magazine, April 2004. Copies are available upon request to

An ergonomics training grant was awarded to EH&E by the MA Department of Industrial Accidents for funding of a training program addressing ergonomics and injury prevention for the healthcare industry. This training program will be overseen by Dr. Guy Fragala and is targeted towards reducing injuries experienced by workers in hospitals and long-term care facilities. For more information on healthcare ergonomics, contact Dr. Fragala at (617) 964-8550, or visit

October 5 – Biosciences Safety and Environmental Compliance Briefing. 8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, MA.  Samuel Lipson, Director of Environmental Health, Cambridge Public Health Department will be the guest speaker at this seminar devoted to current environmental and permitting regulatory topics. For more information and to register, visit or call (617) 964-8550 and speak to Kirsten Buchanan.

October 20 - Biosciences Safety and Environmental Compliance Briefing.  8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA.  Lee Dillard Adams, Deputy Regional Director, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will be the guest speaker at this seminar.  For more information and to register, visit or call (617) 964-8550 and speak to Kirsten Buchanan.

For additional information on any upcoming event, please send an email request to Kirsten Buchanan
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