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Home School of Community and Health Studies Blog 2019 September 30 The Role of Healthcare Environmental Services Management in Our Society

The Role of Healthcare Environmental Services Management in Our Society


In the ever-changing world of health care, there’s a growing demand for keeping potential pandemics and infectious outbreaks under control, whether in a private clinic or a large hospital. This is where Centennial College’s Healthcare Environmental Services Management program comes in. Check out some of the most pressing questions and answers about this essential field.

What exactly is a health care environment?

A health care environment is a setting that includes hospitals, long-term care facilities such as skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes; medical clinics within schools or a workplace, and urgent-care centres. In other words, anywhere you would expect the delivery of health care services would be deemed a health care environment, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These settings also represent places where health care environmental services management is essential. Your specialized skills will be in demand in any environment that has a need to prevent the spread of illness and infections among a large group of people housed together.

Why is the need for infectious-control planning so important for the function of health care facilities?

Preventing any sort of infectious outbreak is of utmost significance in places such as hospitals, where healthcare-acquired infections are the most common complications, according to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. This is why health care facilities need a successful infection prevention and control program to alleviate any chances of outbreaks, which many places, including Toronto, have experienced.

What happened during the SARS outbreak of 2003?

Severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, is a viral ailment spread through respiratory droplets with symptoms similar to the flu. The SARS outbreak began in Toronto after an elderly woman with the virus returned from a trip to Hong Kong. Toronto saw 438 probable or suspect cases and 43 deaths during the outbreak, and health officials entertained the idea of tracking infected people through the use of electronic bracelets as part of a mass quarantine, according to the New York Times. The World Health Organization removed the city from its list of infected areas by June 2003.

What were some of the lessons learned during the SARS outbreak of 2003?

Some of the simplest measures such as frequent hand washing and using well-fitted masks while tending to patients helped curb the spread of the virus, according to the CDC. Also restricting visitors to hospitals and introducing infection control measures early on also helped with reducing the transmission of SARS. The outbreak also led to the need for strict infection-control measures in health care facilities.

Want to learn more?

The challenge for those who graduate from the Healthcare Environmental Services Management program is to find solutions to these and other related issues. To ensure you’re equipped to do so, the program will bring together classroom lectures along with hands-on lab experience. You’ll also get to use industry-specific software and participate in two field-placements as part of your two-year diploma program.

Written by: Izabela Szydlo