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What does it take to convert a hotel room into a healthcare room?

What started as a distant concern has quickly become a full-blown reality. A novel coronavirus has arrived in the United States via a traveler from Wuhan, China. At the moment, there are currently 555,371 cases in the U.S. and 20,056 deaths according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. There is no denying that the travel and hospitality businesses will take the brunt of the economic impact. 

Nevertheless, the hotel industry has stepped up and answered the call. Hotels that are located in heavily Covid-19 areas for opening their doors and converting hotel rooms into hospital rooms. However, before the transformation can begin, strict guidelines have to be met. The Army Corps of Engineers have laid out details in what it calls the “Hotel to Healthcare Concept.”

The hotel room will need healthcare appropriate furnishings:

  • Remove carpet and replace with vinyl flooring
  • Emergency backup power
  • Over the bed tray for eating
  • Privacy curtains
  • Mobile workstation for medical staff
  • Hazardous waste baskets for soiled items, needles and gloves
  • Hand sanitizer

Hotel rooms that are transitioning to patient care rooms should be bare as possible. Each room should undergo a deep cleaning before and after each new patient. Thorough decontamination of the entire room usually takes about 30 minutes. A work check list should be filled out in order to make sure the room is ready for a new patient.

Create Negative Pressure Rooms

Certain patients will require an increased level of care. In this case, Army Corps recommend rooms with their own air conditioner should be converted into negative pressure rooms. This might seem like a huge undertaking; however, it is a relatively simple process. The conversion process involves adjusting the air conditioning to suck air out of the room as opposed to forcing air into the room. By placing a large piece of plastic over the door this creates a negative air pressure and would prevent contaminated air from escaping the room.

Stay On Top of Healthcare Standards and Equipment Calibration with a Mobile CMMS

Ensure all facility staff are meeting sanitation protocols by using a Mobile Maintenance Management System.  A mobile CMMS gives a technician the ability to review assigned work orders and requests, as well as provide a historical record of equipment maintenance and documentation. As you can imagine the importance of maintaining a ventilator is paramount. Knowing how many ventilators you have and where they are located is critical. When was it last cleaned? Has it been calibrated recently? With the right operations management system, managers can have the visibility they need to see everything from inventory and expenses to work orders and documentation. All in real time and in the palm of their hand. Simply scan a QR code or bar code and a medical technician now has all the asset information in that room. Access to inspection history, notes on equipment issues and the ability to request services needed to get a patient room ready.

Additional Measures

Once the inside of the hotel rooms made healthcare ready, additional steps outside of the rooms need to be taken. The additional measurements would include:

  • Nurse stations near the elevators
  • Power generators
  • Patient screening tents
  • Makeshift pharmacies
  • Medical waste disposal areas
  • Security
  • Onsite Laundry

It is understandable that many local officials will not have the means to implement each and every change. It really depends on the severity of patient symptoms. Local and national governments have expressly noted that most critical cases should be handled at a hospital. The less severe cases can be handled in hotel rooms or alternative locations.