An assessment procedure for acceptable Indoor Environmental Quality in health care facilities

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Saudi Digital Library
The condition of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) in health care facilities is more serious than other types of facilities simply because the level of quality required is much higher. An appropriate IEQ in health care facilities results in a healing environment and eventually increases the moral and productivity of occupants. This study addresses the assessment of the IEQ factors; Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Thermal Comfort, Visual Comfort and Acoustical Comfort in health care facilities. As part of this study, an assessment procedure is developed for a comprehensive assessment of the IEQ at health care facilities. In conjunction with the developed procedure, health care facilities are classified, according to experts' survey, into various vicinities with respect to the importance of the IEQ factors. To do that, a detailed subjective assessment in the form of questionnaires is conducted with 26 professionals in the fields of industrial hygiene and health care environments. The aim of this categorization is to define the level of assessment for each IEQ factors in health care facilities and to identify the frequency of conducting the assessment procedure. Results from this study indicate that the IAQ was found to be the most critical and dominant factor among the other IEQ qualifiers. Subsequently, the developed IEQ assessment procedure for health care facilities gives a large emphasis on the IAQ at these facilities. The remaining parts of the assessment procedure are designated for the rest of the other IEQ qualifiers. In addition, a trail based application of the IAQ assessment procedure was conducted at an existing health care facility in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia to test facility management readiness, availability of the required resources and occupants response towards a successful implementation of the developed assessment procedure. Results indicate that there is still much work to be done to improve the level of response and readiness of facility management and occupants to allow for an effective utilization of the developed procedure.