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Special Considerations When Installing Access Points in Healthcare Facilities

by Teddi Strassburger on July 12, 2017

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Issues in Healthcare Facility Wireless Installations

Healthcare facilities have special considerations when it comes to isolating the plenum space from contaminants, such as dust, mold and fungal spores. When ceiling tiles are lifted, or holes are made in them to pass cables or antennas, these openings provide easy routes to the above-ceiling space, which in turn provides access to other areas of the building. 

In addition to the threat of spreading airborne contaminants throughout the facility, these alterations to ceiling tiles compromise the fire rating of the ceiling system.

Regulations and Guidelines

The Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) procedures set forth by the Joint Comission on Hospital Accreditation require barries to be in place when work, such as pulling cable and lifting ceiling tiles, occurs to prevent the spread of dust and spores in the facility. These procedures will have a serious impact on cabling installation, moves, adds and changes. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 10.30.57 AM.pngNational Electric Code (N.E.C.) articles 300.22 and 300.23 specify requirements for installing equipment above a suspended ceiling. The enclosures are an effective smoke and fire barrier, helping to preserve the fire rating of the ceiling system.

HIPAA paragraph 164.310 Physical Safeguards discusses requirements for securing all network endpoints. 

Oberon Simplifies Compliance

Oberon enclosures address the above requirements by providing access to ceiling-mounted wireless points and networking equipment without entering the air-handling "plenum" space following installation. Where there is no intrusion into the plenum space, the expense and time commitment of tenting the area prior to servicing APs is saved.

Gaps in or around ceiling tiles are eliminated, preserving fire ratings of the ceiling; the network endpoints are secured.

Oberon enclosures and mounting solutions are the ideal way to securely and aesthetically blend wireless access points into a hospital environment, while also simplifying compliance with ICRA procedures. 

Model 1042-FL

Oberon's 104X Series enclosures are excellent options for simplifying compliance and maintenance in healthcare facilities. 

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Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 10.31.12 AM.pngThe 1042-FL provides the simplest way to recess APs into the ceiling for an aesthetic, professional installation. A cutout is made in the ceiling and the back-box is fastened into the ceiling (remodel). The AP fastens into the back-box. 

The 1042-FL has a low-profile, textured white ABS plastic cover which snaps over the recessed back-box. 

The ABS plastic cover is virtually transparent to wireless signals. The cover is paintable and can be easily swapped out for other Oberon trim styles. 

The 104X Series is UL listed.

Click here to learn more about Oberon's solutions.

Click here to contact your local Accu-Tech representative.


Topics: healthcare Access Points Oberon wireless hospitals enclosure

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