Medical Construction & Design

JAN-FEB 2015

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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INFECTION CONTROL ISSUE FOCUS BY JOHN ANDREWS D octors and nurses who treat highly-infectious diseases do so at great personal risk. These are deadly illnesses for which there is no vaccine, and whether they are trans- mitted via bodily fl uids, in the case of Ebola, or through the air, in the case of SARS, they pose a serious threat to the men and women who provide care. The reported cases of Ebola, and the hospital-acquired infections of medical staf treating it, has caused some to ques- tion whether the traditional hospital setting is ideally suited for the care of the world's most dangerous diseases. Many hospital administrators are looking into the de- sign of biocontainment patient care units, special facilities that apply the techniques of laboratory biocontainment to the clinical environment. These meticulously planned and engineered facilities provide safety and peace of mind to caregivers, while facilitating staf ef ciency and patient-centered care. There are four BPCUs in the United States: a three-room unit at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Mary- land, a two-room unit at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, a fi ve-room unit at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska and a three-room unit at Saint Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana. The Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit is the largest, and in many ways provides the best case study in facilities of this type. Since its activation in September 2014 for the treatment of Ebola, it has been looked to by many as the gold standard in biocontainment patient care. Although it looks like any other hospital ward, under the hood are many specialized features de- signed to keep staf , patients and the com- munity safe from the diseases they treat. 8 critical design considerations that facilitate effi ciency, safety + patient-centered care BIOCONTAINMENT PATIENT CARE UNITS The Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit, in brief The Nebraska BPCU is designed to account for every particle of aspirated air; every scrap of clothing, waste and linen; and every inch of surface that could harbor infection. Using specialized air handling systems, waste disposal machinery, surface materials, security systems, staf and patient throughput schemes and lab-specimen handling equipment, it is designed to of er the best possible protection against nosocomial infection. Special design considerations are present to mitigate the mental stress felt by patients in isolation. And because of its size — fi ve patient rooms — it of ers more fl exibility than other units of its kind. Eight crucial design considerations of this unit are: $16 million Estimated build cost for the fi rst pediatric biocontainment unit to be built at Texas Children's Hospital West Campus in Houston, Texas. 4 The number of biocontainment patient care unit locations in the U.S. The North Shore-LIJ Health System and Texas Children's Hospital have both announced plans to build units. 30 Medical Construction & Design | JA N UA RY/ F EBRUA RY 2015 | MCDM AG.COM

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