14 WWW.HEALTHSYSTEMMGMT.COM • Seal all cracks and crevices with weather-resistant sealant to keep these pests outside. Consider incorporating metal mesh to add extra protection against pests such as rodents that gnaw and chew openings to gain entry. • Use weather stripping around windows and install door sweeps on all entryways. Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, mice through a gap the size of a dime, and crawling pests through spaces barely noticeable to the human eye. • Keep trees trimmed and plants at least 12 inches from your building to limit the chance that pests will use vegetation to access your facility. • Install automatic doors, which give pests fewer opportunities to pass through, at your high-traffic entrances. • Establish positive airflow to help keep flying pests out. Work with an HVAC professional to make sure air is blowing out, not into your facility. You can test this by holding a piece of tissue paper in a doorway to see which way it blows. • Create a “wall” of air that pests can’t fly through by installing air curtains, which are COVER STORY HEALTH SYSTEM MANAGEMENT | DECEMBER | 2016 Left: Hospital automatic door with sweep. Right (from top): Pests that can infest your facility include cockroaches, flies and rodents. grated pest management (IPM) has become the healthcare industry standard for pest control. GET UP TO SPEED IPM takes a more targeted approach to pest control. It focuses on proactive pest management techniques before employing chemical treatments — chemicals are used as a last resort, and then only in targeted treatments. IPM programs are also customizable to different facilities, taking into “Pests have lots of places to hide in healthcare facilities, and hot spots — areas susceptible to pest activity — are plentiful.” account geography, building conditions, and even the time of the year. COOL OFF HOT SPOTS Pests have lots of places to hide in healthcare facilities, and hot spots — areas susceptible to pest activity — are plentiful. Fortunately, an IPM tactic exists for each pest hot spot inside a facility to help guard it from pest pressures. START THE FIGHT ON THE OUTSIDE The best way to keep pests from interfering with your patients and guests is to keep them out of your building. The more you build up your pest defenses on the outside, the fewer pests you will deal with on the inside. • Avoid pest attractants on your property such as heavy mulches, water works or standing water, or vegetation that produces fruit and/or flowers.
Health System Management • December 2016
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