Keeping the exterior of a healthcare facility well-maintained is crucial, as it reflects the provider's commitment to its patients’ safety and well-being. A well-maintained facility safeguards patients, staff, and visitors while creating a positive image and functionality that instills confidence. Maintaining healthcare facilities also requires attention to the property’s unique aspects and needs.
Each of the following elements plays a vital role in creating a safe, attractive, and well-functioning environment for patients, visitors, and staff. Discover the critical maintenance practices that will help your healthcare facility shine in terms of safety, aesthetics, and overall excellence. These 10 pro healthcare facility exterior maintenance tips can help you design a new maintenance program or rework an existing one.
1) Regularly Inspect the Exterior
Healthcare facilities must present themselves in a way that instills confidence in patients and keeps them safe. Regular inspections of the facility’s exterior buildings and grounds can identify issues that need maintenance or repairs before they become more significant.
Exterior inspections can identify raised walkway cracks, peeling paint or cracked stucco, damaged siding, and issues with rain gutters. Additionally, a periodic roof inspection can identify any necessary repairs and potentially extend the life of the facility’s roof. While some problems may be cosmetic, others can pose risks to patients and staff, requiring them to be addressed promptly.
2) Maintain the Landscape and Grounds
While healthcare facilities want their patients to feel calm and confident, they also need to provide an inviting presence for visitors. When patients and visitors see well-maintained grounds and landscape, they assume that management keeps everything else about the facility in good order.
Regular maintenance should include manicured lawns and trimmed trees. It can also include seasonal plantings of flowers and other attractive plants that add aesthetic appeal to the facility’s main entrance and other public-access areas. Additionally, features added for patients and visitors to enjoy, such as fountains and atriums, need regular maintenance care to keep them looking fresh, clean, and inviting.
Many facilities strive to reduce their environmental footprint by implementing green building standards. Regular property inspections can identify areas where the facility can implement sustainability measures.
3) Specialized Procedures
Healthcare facilities must practice specific cleaning protocols for their exterior surfaces to adhere to healthcare facility cleanliness standards. Tasks can include regular window and wall cleaning and sanitizing for public seating, such as benches. Additionally, healthcare facilities must adhere to infection control standards to prevent contamination, including proper medical waste disposal and local standards for air quality.
4) Storm Drain Management
When the rainy season comes, storms can produce a large volume of rainwater on the property. Suppose the storm drains, gutters, and other components of the facility’s stormwater management system have been neglected during the dry months of the year. In that case, the facility is at an increased risk of clogged storm drains, flooding, and other problems.
One of the most essential healthcare facility exterior maintenance tips is to perform regular storm drain cleanout procedures using commercial storm drain cleaning services. Professional storm drain maintenance can prevent vegetation, sediment, and debris from building up, allowing the system to do its job. Flooding can cause damage to the facility and increase the risk of spreading infection.
5) Maintain Exterior Signage
The exterior signage is critical for healthcare facilities, especially for people hurrying to locate the emergency department. Ambulance drivers and other personnel coming to a hospital for the first time must know precisely where to go since every minute is critical for their patients.
Local regulations typically dictate which signage the facility must have for proper wayfinding. Regular exterior signage should be kept visible, with trees and other vegetation trimmed so it does not obscure any part of the signage. Regular maintenance can ensure that burned-out lights get replaced and perform repairs for signage with faded or damaged lettering.
6) Pest Control
Pest control is critical for any public building and even more so for healthcare facilities. Regular pest control as part of a well-rounded maintenance program keeps patients safe. It also aids healthcare facilities in maintaining the hygiene requirements needed for a healthy and sanitary environment. Routine tasks include inspecting conditions that might attract pests or identifying existing infestations. Inspect landscaping, entry points, drainage systems, and areas on the building exterior that can house nesting insects or birds.
Healthcare facilities must use eco-friendly products for pest control to minimize health risks to patients, staff, and visitors. Monitoring devices, sealing pest entry points, and landscaping that reduces pest attraction can keep pests under control. Proper waste management, documentation for pest activity, treatments and results, and staff training are additional ways to ensure the effectiveness of the facility’s pest control efforts.
7) Remove Graffiti
Graffiti is never a good look for a healthcare facility, and management should have it removed immediately. Daily morning maintenance rounds can catch graffiti and other vandalism so maintenance staff can promptly clean or repair the damage.
The cleanliness and care of the facility’s exterior are essential components of maintaining a professional and safe environment and preserving the facility’s credibility and trust with patients and family.
8) Maintain Accessibility Options
As part of a regular maintenance program, ensure that ramps, pathways, and entrances designed for accessibility remain open and in good repair. These walkways and entrances must also comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations.
Slip-and-trip lawsuits are a risk for any property, and healthcare facilities must maintain their walkways, ramps, parking lots, and other areas to keep patients, staff, and visitors safe while minimizing the risk of trips, slips, or falls.
9) Maintain Exterior Lighting
Regularly check all exterior lighting to ensure the healthcare facility and grounds remain well-lit after dark. Verify that all emergency lighting is fully functional and visible to provide safety to staff, patients, and visitors at all hours.
Ensure the uplighting used for landscaping and building signage is fully functioning and bright. Verify that the property’s lighting complies with local safety codes that cover emergency exits, fire safety, and structural integrity. As part of routine landscape maintenance, keep all trees and vegetation trimmed so that it does not obscure emergency or safety lights.
These healthcare facility exterior maintenance tips would not be complete without mentioning the effects of the elements, such as freezing snow, summer heat, and powerful rainstorms. Like any other commercial building, these facilities sustain age and weather-related wear and tear. Regular exterior building maintenance includes using weather-resistant materials and coatings to protect outside surfaces.
Weatherproofing is an essential aspect of preventative maintenance and is more cost-effective than doing repairs after the damage has happened. Investing in high-quality, weatherproof exterior paint and roofing manufactured to withstand the stresses of local weather conditions. These investments can save thousands of dollars in replacement costs by extending the lifespan of the facility’s exterior surfaces.
Regular Maintenance Is an Important Business Investment
Healthcare facility maintenance is an ongoing responsibility, and staying on top of it brings benefits such as a positive reputation and trust from patients, visitors, and staff. It also saves money and creates a safe environment for all parties.
Don’t wait for flooding, clogged drains, or other problems to address your property’s stormwater system maintenance this rainy season. Let CatchAll Environmental take the worry out of stormwater management for you.
Our dedicated and experienced staff can perform a thorough storm water cleanout to keep your storm drains and other components clean and in good repair before the next storm hits. Our team is dedicated to maintaining the integrity of your system and helping you do your part to maintain and preserve a cleaner, healthier environment. Call us today for your stormwater system maintenance needs and put your stormwater management on autopilot.