New water safety program streamlines processes to help healthcare providers reduce Legionella risk

Nalco Water, an Ecolab company, has introduced a comprehensive water safety program to help hospitals and long-term care facilities meet new requirements to reduce Legionella risk. The program helps streamline the process to meet the current Survey and Certification (S&C) 17-30 requirements established by the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Legionnaires' disease, a severe and sometimes fatal pneumonia, can occur in people who inhale aerosolized droplets of water contaminated with the bacterium Legionella. Outbreaks have been linked to large or complex water systems in buildings such as hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Per the new S&C 17-30 requirements, all hospitals, critical-access hospitals and long-term care providers that participate in Medicare are required to take specific steps to reduce Legionella risk in their water systems.

"Healthcare providers are seeking a complete solution to meet the new S&C 17-30 requirements," said Michael Johannsen, executive vice president and general manager of global light industries and water services. "Our water safety program for healthcare is designed to simplify the process to meet the standard and ensure ongoing compliance."

Nalco Water's water safety program for healthcare is an enterprise-level solution that streamlines management of water safety risk across multiple sites. It includes a professional risk assessment, development of an ASHRAE-188 compliant water safety plan, training, sampling and testing services, and an on-site emergency response plan.

The water safety program complements Ecolab's broader healthcare programs, which are focused on the prevention of healthcare-associated infections and driving operational efficiency in acute care hospitals. These programs include offerings for operating room turnover, patient temperature management, hand hygiene and surgical instrument reprocessing and surface disinfectants with EPA-registered claims against pathogens including Clostridium difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, influenza and norovirus.

A charter member of the CDC-Elite proficiency program, Nalco Water conducts more than 80,000 Legionella tests annually.

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