By Eric Althoff
BRUNSWICK, Maine—Temporary wall constructors STARC Systems is ramping up more manufacturing of its products to assist healthcare operators who must continue to isolate covid-19 patients as emergency rooms, hospitals and other facilities have been overwhelmed by the winter surge of cases.
STARC announced that they will be assisting facilities to reconfigure their covid wards and various other patient areas so as to properly isolate patients from one another, as well as from healthcare workers. The work was even more timely given that portions of the funds provided by CARES Act were due to expire at the end of 2020, so STARC got its project into higher gear.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, STARC’s temporary walls were primarily installed at construction locations, wherein they could more easily remove airborne dust and other particles that could be inhaled by construction workers. However, in light of the pandemic, STARC’s walls are being used to fashion airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIR), which direct air out and away from patients and healthcare workers. This way, airborne pathogens are removed from the environment rather than potentailly inhaled by patients and healthcare workers who are tending to them. STARC’s walls are able to be installed quickly, and each individual compartment entails negative pressure, meaning the air is sucked away from the compartment rather than recirculated.
Several national healthcare operators, including PruittHealth, have been investing in STARC’s temporary walls so that they can be implemented systemwide in response to the need for isolation.
“We consider STARC walls another form of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the fight against COVID-19,” Neil L. Pruitt Jr., PruittHealth’s chairman and CEO, said in a recent statement, adding that the brisk setup of the STARC walls made them easy to implement at PruittHealth’s various locations. “We saw quickly how STARC’s flexible modular systems could be deployed to a PruittHealth location and assist in our infection control efforts … in any of PruittHealth’s 96 skilled nursing centers across the Southeast.”
STARC Systems says that their temporary walls exceed ICRA Class IV and ASTM E-84 isolation requirements.
Chris Vickers, president and CEO of STARC Systems, added that his firm found a mission to work with large healthcare operators such as PruittHealth to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare workers alike as the entire world faces down a once-in-a-century pandemic.
“STARC has continued to invest in production, inventory and hiring to accelerate manufacturing to meet customers’ delivery needs,” Vickers said in a recent statement. “We understand the sense of urgency to get our isolation solutions to the frontline workers who need it most, and remain committed to helping as many healthcare facilities and systems as possible take advantage of the CARES Act funds before it expires.”
STARC’s products have already been installed for clients including Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.