Part Two: ICRA 2.0 Procedure Compliance
In our Part One blog post from the Wireless experts at Oberon, you reviewed the most recent updates to the Infection Control Risk Assessment Procedures, known as ICRA 2.0. You also learned that the intention of each change is provide more concise guidance regarding construction projects and network upgrades that happen inside of Healthcare facilities.
Oberon recommends that, if you are a Wireless network designer and/or installer who works inside of a Healthcare setting, you should fully understand ICRA 2.0 so that you can comply with and ensure optimal patient safety on a daily basis.
How to Prevent Airborne Infectious Disease
Your Healthcare facility’s top objective should always correlate with the protection its patients, especially from airborne infectious disease. One compliant way to do this is by eliminating gaps and holes in its physical infrastructure. Even the smallest openings in a ceiling can and do readily pass out dust, spores and other airborne pathogens. Any of these airborne contaminants can be detrimental to patient safety.
Holes and gaps in the ceiling (shown above) are not permitted in hospital patient spaces.
Additional Challenges You'll Face as a Network Designer and/or Installer
If you are planning to perform any kind of above-ceiling work, a surrounding barrier must put up to separate your work space from the patients. This protected work space must then be negatively pressurized, so that the dust and spores cannot spread any further throughout the facility. This also ensures that the exhaust is HEPA filtered and/or conducted away.
As you can imagine, these changes will strongly influence how you service Wireless Access Points and cabling installations.
Review the Standards
TIA 1179 – The Healthcare Facility Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard
To address some of the special considerations of deploying a Wireless network in a Healthcare environment, the Telecommunications Industry Association developed TIA 1179 – The Healthcare Facility Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard.
Among other topics, the Standard states:
• Adding or changing cabling once ceiling tiles are closed could jeopardize infection control measures
• New restrictions on removing ceiling tiles are adding significant cost when it becomes necessary to access the ceiling
• Policies and procedures that are mitigating Airborne Infectious Disease shall be adhered to
This additional Standard specifies the following:
APs should be designed and installed to be accessible for servicing and troubleshooting, so as to eliminate the need for infectious control protocols
Wireless AP infrastructure physical designs should consider consistency, compatibility and operational support.
Design should consider both initial installation costs as well as operational costs
Your installation should therefore result in minimal operational cost during the lifecycle of a horizontal cable system. This includes cable, connectivity and associated hardware.
With all this in mind, it’s important to use Wireless AP enclosures that permit access to ceiling-mounted wireless LAN access points and networking equipment.
Your Compliant Solution
Oberon offers both recessed enclosures for hard ceiling areas as well as suspended ceiling enclosures that replace standard 2’ x 2’ ceiling tile. Either way, their Wireless AP can fit into a door or within an enclosure due to its solid back box, creating a barrier between your ceiling space and the patients.
Solutions like this easily ensure that your Wireless equipment and cabling can be accessed without breaching the ceiling. They also make it unnecessary to create a barrier around your workspaces, saving you both time and money.
Oberon enclosures are designed to permit the Access Point to provide optimum Wireless coverage. Excess cabling can be stowed inside the enclosure and its interchangeable doors permit more ease when future technology upgrades are required.
Oberon products are UL listed for mounting ITC equipment in suspended, hard ceiling, and recessed wall locations.
Fire- and Smoke-Rated Ceilings
Many ceilings act as fire and smoke barriers, and penetrations in such ceilings are restricted. Most of Oberon’s ceiling mounted products have a solid metal back-box which acts not only as a dust barrier, but also as a smoke and fire barrier. These all-metal products are intrinsically NEC plenum rated.
In most of the ceiling products, cable egress is through a UL Listed firestop grommet, further enhancing effectiveness as a fire and smoke barrier.
Suspended Ceiling Areas
Oberon Model 1047 Locking suspended ceiling enclosure, shown with Meraki Wi-Fi AP in interchangeable door.
Suspended Ceiling Areas
Oberon Model 1044 non-locking suspended ceiling and clouds ceiling mount, shown with Aruba Wi-Fi AP in interchangeable trim.
Hard Ceiling Areas
Oberon Model 1076 hard ceiling recessed locking enclosure with interchangeable door, Shown with Cisco (Top) and Aruba Wi-Fi AP (Bottom).
Hard Ceiling Areas
Oberon Model 1042 hard ceiling recessed mount with interchangeable trim, Shown with Aruba Wi-Fi AP.
Recessed Wall Mounts
Oberon Model 1018 hard ceiling or wall recessed mount. Low profile, UL Listed, all plastic construction.
Ultimately, no matter what particular scenario you find yourself in, it’s important to stay current with compliance procedures like ICRA 2.0. We hope this two-part series helps you navigate the complexities of such change and find the perfect, simple solutions for your job site.