Medical Construction & Design

NOV-DEC 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.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 62

MCDM AG.COM | NOV EMBER / DECEMBER 2017 | Medical Construction & Design 43 CORE AREA #2 Operational It's also important to under- stand the barriers that limit hand hygiene, and design to eliminate them. A recent study revealed that poor access to sinks is associated with de- creased hand-washing compli- ance ("Impact of sink location on hand hygiene compliance after care of patients with Clostridium diffi cile infec- tion: a cross-sectional study"), and that visibility of sinks can help improve hand hygiene habits. These are all challenges and opportunities design can positively aff ect. The following planning and design consider- ations can improve a system's performance against HAIs: > The location of hand- washing sinks and antiseptic dispensers is critical. They should be present at treat- ment station entry points, common areas throughout, the emergency department and registration rooms. Placing hand-washing sinks in these areas can all aid in compliance. > The design of single-patient rooms in both the ED and inpatient environments is important due to the close proximity of patients, and the increased likelihood of germs spread through contact. > The inclusion of no-touch sink and door operators can limit touchpoints and make an important diff erence. > Reducing foot traffi c in and out of operating rooms may reduce rates of surgical site infections. There are numer- ous ways design can help limit foot traffi c. All of these steps can be driven and enhanced by de- sign and help health systems strengthen their fi ght against HAIs. CORE AREA #3 Material In addition to proper hand- washing and operational practices, the proper specifi - cation of materials can fi ght the spread of HAIs. Decisions that lead to the elimination of curtains and reduction of upholstery, specifi cation of hard, nonporous surfaces and seamless fl ooring, or limiting horizontal surfaces all can infl uence HAIs. It's important to understand the nature of every material used in the facility. For exam- ple, copper, a known microbial killer, can eliminate bacteria through ions that damage bac- terial cells. This unique feature is why copper is now registered with the EPA as a public-health antimicrobial product and why health systems are specifying it for touch surfaces (e.g., drawer pulls, door handles, IV poles). Some facilities are specifying copper for other areas in the fa- cility, as well, including textiles, keyboards, blood pressure cuff s and water fountains. Another example of the importance of material is disinfecting lights. This type of disinfection uses precise wave- lengths of light in the visible range that kills germs, while being safe for humans and ani- mals. These systems eff ectively and effi ciently off er concentrat- ed, controlled and safe disinfec- tion for everyday use. CORE AREA #4 Technology Emerging technology is also a strengthening tool in the fi ght against HAIs. With the emergence of virtual reality, automation and other new technology, health systems are pursuing creative eff orts to fi ght HAIs, including: > Robotic surgery to reduce incision site infections > Qualifi ed electronic surveillance systems that can assist HAI detection with computer algorithms designed to detect potentially transmittable infectious diseases and their spread path through a facility > A door entry pad for hospitals that disinfects itself > Audible alarms that activate when hand-washing protocols have not been met > Automated guided vehicles to transport soiled materials and equipment All of these eff orts help ensure sanitary protocols and reduce physical contact, adding up to reduce risk of HAIs. The fi ght against HAIs is not new, but breakthrough tools are renewing the fi ght daily in health facilities. Those invested in the design, construction and operations of these facilities should recog- nize they have a hand in this fi ght and seek the leading-edge tools at their disposal to help fi ght HAIs on every front. Joan L. Suchomel, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, is a senior vice president and senior medical planner for CannonDesign. From left: Automated guided vehicles at the Centre hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal help transport materials, reduce touchpoints and fi ght HAIs. > This critical care pavilion features a special disease unit designed to promote infection control.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Medical Construction & Design - NOV-DEC 2017