Hpac 0520 Hepa Pr

Re-Engineered to Save Lives

May 1, 2020
Clean rooms specialist retrofits hospital patient rooms for COVID-19 pandemic.

The challenges brought on by COVID-19 are unlike most our world has ever seen. While operations might not be business as usual, this season has rekindled aspects of our industry that are oftentimes taken for granted — innovation and a service-driven approach. 

Healthcare systems around the world are experiencing incredible pressure to accommodate the growing number of patients impacted by coronavirus. In turn, manufacturing businesses are adapting to help meet this need. Businesses, both small and large, are modifying their supply chain to innovate new products or protect their resources for future operations. 

Our company, Clean Rooms International, chose the innovative route. As a manufacturer of cleanrooms, workstations and air filtration equipment, we knew we could repurpose a particular product line to help meet the need for coronavirus patients — and the frontline healthcare workers of this pandemic.

With time and the nature of COVID-19 in mind, our product engineers took to the drawing board. Quickly, the team began reconfiguring and repurposing parts and pieces to produce dozens of new units. Standard HEPA fan filters were inverted and paired with an exhaust system or mounted to a small cradle with castors to create mobile units. 

In less than a week, our team successfully turned current products on our shelves into equipment to support life-sustaining and essential service providers. The product is highly efficient in filtering and evacuating contaminants from the air, helping create a negative pressure environment and minimizing airborne contagions from entering hallways and corridors in a health facility. 

With product in hand, our strategy shifted to distribution. Since mid-March, Clean Rooms International has shipped thousands of units from coast to coast. 

Throughout design and distribution, we have remained cognizant of the product installment process and the hospital system technicians responsible. Permanent units can be inserted in the ceiling, and mobile cart units can duct into a window or wall. No matter how the product is installed, our priority is to maintain the health and safety of frontline workers while creating a safer space for patients. As an extra level of service to hospital systems and care facilities, our consultants work with each to determine the ideal placement for maximum efficiency. 

As COVID-19 continues to affect our industries, organizations and personal lives, hospital systems will look for new and inventive ways to convert their facilities to meet patient needs. I challenge you or the organization you represent to focus on what you do best and think creatively. Opportunities for serving those outside the normal day-to-day operations are once in a lifetime, and finding innovative solutions to a worldwide problem can place your organization in the hearts and minds of consumers across the globe.  

The author is president and CEO of Clean Rooms International (CRI), a provider of cleanroom components for hard wall and soft wall applications, fan filter units, and related testing and certification services. Based in Grand Rapids MI, the firm manufactures products that allow spaces to maintain extremely low levels of submicron-sized particulates.