Before you get involved in any construction or renovation project, you need to go through a pre-construction stage to take stock of the client’s building requirements, develop an initial design, and lay out the scope of the job for the client so they know exactly what will happen from start to finish. Any construction project also requires safety measures, especially where construction will affect building occupants. That’s why any projects for hospitals, clinics, or care facilities require pre-construction risk assessment (PCRA) as part of pre-construction planning.
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PCRA is required for any construction, renovation, or maintenance work done in hospitals or healthcare facilities, which means contractors need to develop a detailed list of safety requirements before they can begin. The traditional methodology is to use spreadsheets to review and track safety activities, which is only one step above using a handheld clipboard. There is too much room for error, which can result in non-compliance. A better strategy is to use a centralized, cloud-based system that is part of the pre-construction workflow.
The Joint Commission maintains the standards for patient safety in hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities, including the criteria for pre-construction risk assessment. It lays out the specific requirements for PRCA in Standard EC.02.06.05, which is part of the Environment of Care Standard for safety and health management.
Compliance with PRCA standards is an essential part of pre-construction to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). It requires maintaining a complex list of safety protocols and procedures that have to be followed, and each task has to be documented. The list is extensive and includes specifics relating to air quality, infection control, noise, vibration, and other potential hazards.
The Joint Commission has an eight-step process that they recommend for PRCA compliance:
The more details there are in the PRCA list, the more room there is for error, especially if you are tracking each step manually. It’s too easy for something to fall through the cracks.
While you may think using spreadsheets is a logical and comprehensive way to manage pre-construction risk assessments, they pose a number of problems:
If you fail a safety audit due to sloppy bookkeeping, you can face a hefty fine, so maintaining an accurate checklist is essential if you want to comply with EC.02.06.05.
The best way to maintain an accurate PRCA process is by using automation. You need to start with a single data repository so everyone has access to the same information. Then, you have to maintain tight controls over shared reports.
PRCA requires a project management strategy, just like any other aspect of construction. By using a cloud-based software platform, you can integrate data and processes from all involved departments, including infection control, facilities management, safety, clinical engineering, and compliance. Automating the workflow speeds up approval time and is more accurate, eliminating errors and data duplication. It also simplifies documentation to prove standards compliance.
In addition to streamlining PRCA procedures, automated processes can be integrated with other business systems and software, simplifying tasks such as project bidding, workforce management, and managing bills of materials.
ProEst is the ideal platform for PRCA automation, providing a cloud-based project management solution for collaboration and accurate documentation. It eliminates errors, provides real-time access to checklists and procedures, and saves you time and money.