Healthy air in doctors' offices begins with high-quality air filtration
The indoor air quality in a doctor’s office is subject to many of the same challenges as homes or businesses in the same geographic area. Outdoor air pollution can drift indoors and intermingle with indoor air pollution. As a result, the air quality in doctors’ offices near freeways or other sources of air pollution typically reflect the poor air quality outdoors. This can cause discomfort for those seeking care, especially those who are suffering from respiratory conditions like allergies or asthma.
Doctors' offices and waiting rooms can also experience higher levels of airborne viruses, bacteria, and other contaminants as a result of many patients waiting or in consultation. Because patients with immunocompromised systems are often present, extra care must be given to protecting their health by creating and maintaining a high level of indoor air quality. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, taking precautions against airborne SARS-CoV-2 has also become a primary air quality concern for millions of doctors around the world due to the infectiousness and deadly symptoms of the coronavirus.
Air quality can affect your staff
In addition to protecting patients, doctor’s offices must consider the effect of poor indoor air quality on physicians and staff. A 2008 study published in Public Health Nursing showed that while workers in Canada miss an average of 6.7 days of work each year for health reasons, the rate for health-care workers is 11.8 days per year due to increased instances of respiratory illness, digestive illnesses, and injuries to the musculoskeletal system that occur due to exposure to patients, increased concentrations of airborne infections indoors, and long shifts that can put strain on the body. In this context, cleaner, healthier air in the doctor’s office also has an important potential economic benefit due to reduced absences and increased productivity from a greater sense of well-being within the office environment itself.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that deadly airborne pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2 and C. difficile, typically found in hospitals, is also present in doctor and dentist offices, and has been found on patient chairs and examining tables. The presence of these viruses poses a risk for staff as well as patients and has resulted in economic strain on many smaller practices, with patient visits reduced by as much as 60 percent and staff furloughed for months at a time.
Airborne viruses and bacteria can settle anywhere
Family medicine and pediatrician offices may opt to have “sick” and “well” waiting areas, but often that is not an option, especially in the presence of patients infected with respiratory infections that spread primarily through airborne transmission. Once viruses are airborne, they can settle almost anywhere in the environment. Magazines, office brochures, clipboards, doorknobs, and even pens may host viruses and bacteria as well. That's why it's important to address the transmission of these microorganisms and contaminants in the air.
An IQAir air purifier in waiting rooms and exam rooms thus has important benefits for doctors, staff, and patients. The use of negative pressure environments and source capture of airborne contaminants from infected patients can also be critical in helping prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria spread through the air.
The comfort and health of patients and staff will benefit when steps are taken to provide an abundant supply of clean, healthy air. IQAir is proud to count hundreds of physicians among its loyal customers and has created an affiliate program for doctors. The Affiliate Program offers substantial benefits to medical practices, providing tools and support necessary for the increased protection of staff and patients.