Medical Construction & Design

SEP-OCT 2017

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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18 Medical Construction & Design | SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER 2017 | MCDM AG.COM Restrooms are universally used spaces, but their design in healthcare settings can vary widely based on patient popu- lation, room location and layout and safety concerns. For designers, patient restrooms in hospitals pose the greatest design challenges to ensure that spaces support healing, comfort and calm for patients and provide ease of mainte- nance, infection control and safety features for facility managers. The design of healthcare rest- rooms is similar to that of commercial restrooms with respect to durability, cleanability and accessibility — but that's where the parallels end. Given consumer choice in healthcare, medical facilities are designing restrooms with a comforting, home-like feel. Gone are the institutional-looking lavatories of old; today's healthcare restrooms incor- porate new products and technologies that provide a level of hospitality that patients increasingly seek. Optimizing the patient experience Whether renovating or building new, hospitals and healthcare facilities are listening and responding to their patients, visitors and staff by creating patient rooms and restrooms that are accessible and comfortable for ev- eryone. The trend toward "increased capacity rooms and restrooms" that address weight limitation of plumbing fi xtures, and a continued focus on im- proved accessibility, provide the extra space and accommodations that people with mobility challenges and dexterity disabilities need. Restrooms in healthcare fall into two categories: public restrooms that serve patients and visitors and clinical toilet rooms that support the clinical functions required of various programs within the facility. Public restrooms consist of a mix of gang toilet rooms and individual restrooms. These restrooms are often associated with public amenities and waiting areas, and demand a high level of design and fi nish materials. Porcelain tile walls and fl ooring provide excellent durability and cleanability for these high-use spaces. A new trend is the use of solid-surface materials for the toilet portions, providing a clean modern look while maintaining excellent cleanabil- ity and resistance to cleaning chemicals and standard abuse in this environ- ment. Often, gang toilet rooms are supplemented with private toilet rooms designated for family use, gender neu- trality and accessibility compliance. A key challenge with all public toi- lets is addressing the weight limitations of porcelain wall-mounted toilets and the associated weight of users. The risk of injury and breakage can necessitate post-installation fi xes of "wood block" supports. This issue requires a critical design phase discussion between infec- tion control, housekeeping and facility engineering to select a solution that works for all concerned — and avoids a post-occupancy fi x. Incorporating new trends, technologies in healthcare restrooms Spotlight Restrooms Rethinking Design BY JASON COSTELLO

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