In the process of eliminating pests, health care facilities can expose patients and employees to toxic chemicals through the inhalation, ingestion, and absorption of pesticide residues. Most vulnerable to pesticides are pregnant women, infants and children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, allergies, and sensitivity to pesticides. These populations are present in abundance at a health care facility. Integrated pest management (IPM) aims to prevent and manage pest problems in the least hazardous manner possible.
The University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital implemented an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system in 1995 in recognition of the health concerns related to pesticide use.