Medical Construction & Design

JUL-AUG 2018

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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MCDM AG.COM | J U LY/AUGUST 2018 | Medical Construction & Design 27 the risk of visitors touching the items, accidentally contaminating them or taking them as souvenirs. Some PPE items, especially gloves, should be readily available inside the patient room. As clinicians provide care to the patient, plans can change quickly and gloves might suddenly become ripped or soiled. The exact location inside the patient room should be coordinated with clinicians during design reviews. Finally, doffi ng and properly disposing of PPE is important to reduce the risk of transmitting the pathogens when exiting the room; waste receptacle placement and accessibility is part of the design challenge. Due to the variety of patient populations and clinical protocols, the design team should come to a consensus with the clinical staff about the desired approach for PPE access and disposal process. Design for success Virtual reality helps staff experience the proposed new space and is far superior to traditional 2D drawings. VR allows staff to walk through the design to experience how the new space would function. Depending on how much detail has been developed in the design, the virtual reality session can show exact products and materials — even door handles and drawer pulls. Staff can provide recommendations to the design team to improve or modify the layout. With improved communication through VR, there are still major benefi ts to constructing traditional 3D mock-up rooms. When a room is physically mocked up, actual items of hospital equipment can be used and moved around, and a group of staff members can walk through procedures. For example, in a recent mock-up at a teaching hospital, staff requested a set of glove boxes at the patient headwall on the visitor side of the bed, so that a staff member who has either torn or soiled gloves can easily replace them. Quick change and confi rmation of changes by a group of clinicians is not yet possible in a virtual reality session. If the mock-up is constructed in a late phase of the design, while selections of millwork and hardware are being made, the mock-up rooms will help staff confi rm or propose modifi cations to make PPE more readily accessible. For example, how easily can items be pulled out through the holes? How easily can boxes be replaced? Is there a spot nearby for an extra box of PPE as one box is getting empty? When the design addresses such small but repetitive actions, the completed facility will help the staff focus on patient care rather than maintenance of the supplies. Designers should consider PPE items in the early stages of schematic design — how much space per bedroom and proposed geometry. PPE accommodations can be both well designed to enhance the patient experience and provide readily accessible protection to minimize hospital-acquired infections. Roland Binker is an associate vice president at CallisonRTKL. The design team should come to a consensus with the clinical staff about the desired approach for PPE access and disposal process.

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