Amazing Collaboration to Create Isolation Rooms for COVID-19 Patients

Fabricated panels, ready for installation in the hospitals

F&O’s Hospital Maintenance team and Campus Metal Shops are continuing to provide critical support to Michigan Medicine by converting patient rooms to negative pressure isolation rooms. These negative pressure isolation rooms are necessary for patients with the COVID-19 virus because they eliminate any airborne particulates through use of a HEPA filter system which make the isolation room safe for caregivers. This incredible, collaborative effort has already resulted in converting about 50 patient rooms so far!

The process begins with the Hospital Maintenance team, working with the clinicians and Hospital Engineering, to determine base pressure readings of the rooms that are to be converted. Next, the Metal Shops team collects window measurements and fabricates window coverings for the HEPA filter system. They include a clear acrylic panel in the window covering to ensure patients have access to natural daylight, which is important for healing. The Metal Shops staff then return and install the panels, sometimes within hours.

A patient room before conversion

A patient room that’s been successfully converted into a negative pressure isolation room

This process is dependent on HEPA filtration units which Hospital Maintenance has been procuring from internal stock, their colleagues in Architecture, Engineering and Construction, and now from external vendors. After the installation is complete, the Hospital Maintenance team follows up to ensure the targeted negative pressure level was achieved. The rooms are then turned back over to the medical staff for use by patients. Maintenance staff check the room pressure weekly to confirm it remains in the appropriate range.