Humidity in sterile storage rooms Q&A

In a recent Q&A on the FacilityCare website, consultant Brad Keyes answered a question about humidity in sterile storage rooms

In a recent Q&A on the FacilityCare website, consultant Brad Keyes answered a question about stairwell storage. 

Q: What supplies qualify as having to be stored in a “sterile storage” room? The 2014 FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities requires these rooms to control humidity levels to not exceed 60 percent relative humidity (RH). While one can presume a “sterile storage” room is where sterile supplies are stored, what constitutes a sterile supply?

A: Looking at the 2010 and 2014 FGI guidelines, sterile storage is a subheading of “Central Medical and Surgical Supply,” and requires humidity levels to not exceed 60 percent RH. The 1996-1997, 2001 and 2006 editions of the guidelines list the humidity levels for sterile storage as “maximum 70 percent RH.”

The term “sterile storage” is not defined in the FGI guidelines as far as I can see, so in cases like this where the standards are not well-defined, it is up to the AHJ to define them. It is my opinion that common supplies such as bandages and IV kits would not qualify for “sterile storage” applications, but then my opinion doesn’t count here.

I would suggest that you ask your accreditation organization how they define “sterile storage.” Do they consider bandages and IV kits to be required to be stored in humidity-controlled areas? I would think they would not since it would be such a financial burden on healthcare organizations.

Read the full answer. 


January 8, 2015

Topic Area: Maintenance and Operations

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