Medical Construction & Design

MAY-JUN 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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18 Medical Construction & Design | M AY/ J U N E 2018 | MCDM AG.COM A few generations ago, patient toilet rooms were relatively straightforward. Patients typi- cally shared a hospital room that housed a shoebox-sized room, with only a toilet on the inside and a hand-washing sink on the outside. Needless to say, this did not provide the most eff ective means of infec- tion prevention. Today, private patient rooms are the norm, and the purpose of toilet rooms has been expanded to include use by visitors. As space is at a premium in any hospital, increasing the size of the toilet rooms to accommodate these new expectations is not always practical, especially in terms of renovations. Within the pa- tient-room footprint, the best arrangement of the toilet room depends on the patient's acuity level and reason for their hos- pital stay. Supporting staff in providing care and maintain- ing the facility are additional considerations when designing the patient toilet room. In the intensive care unit A decade ago, many jurisdic- tions allowed the use of a built-in bedpan washer cabi- net in ICU patient rooms. Staff observation of the patient is critical in high-acuity settings, so excluding toilet rooms opened up the lines of sight to the patient. Additionally, the high-acuity level of patients in the ICU does not permit them to walk to the toilet, therefore dedicating square footage to a separate toilet room seemed excessive. Washing bedpans in the patient room itself, how- ever, presents infection risks, and the Facility Guidelines Institute no longer permits new construction ICU beds without dedicated toilet or human waste disposal rooms. Since many units encour- age the presence of family, providing a toilet within the room — and a sleeper sofa or chair — can support this aim. When designing ICU toilet rooms, functionality and opti- mizing space are most critical. The rooms need to have just enough space to accommodate a toilet and a sink per FGI Guidelines. Creating spacious, amenity-rich rooms might seem a waste of square footage and budget, but other con- siderations discussed in this article may come into play. Medical and surgical units Lower-acuity patients in med/surg rooms may be able to walk to the toilet, so a primary concern for these types of rooms is fall preven- tion. Wider doors (42 inches versus 36 inches), no thresh- old into the shower and the strategic placement of grab bars can help patients navigate a room, while the proximity of the toilet to the bed may help prevent falls. If the toilet room is on the same side of the room as the headwall, the distance a patient has to travel is minimized, and they do not need to walk away from the walls, which off er grab bars for support, to get to the toilet. Many facilities choose to implement the same patient room footprint for both the ICU and med/surg units to allow for future fl exibility. Although the ICU rooms may not require a shower per code, med/surg rooms do. For ulti- mate fl exibility, the patient toi- let rooms should be designed to work for either group. To reduce this strategy's impact on the project's square footage, some designs utilize an open- shower concept, particularly if the owner's experience shows that showers are rarely used. Controlling water spillage from the shower is a challenge Spotlight Considering needs, safety & expectations for patient toilet rooms Healthcare Restrooms BY CAROLYN FLEETWOOD BLAKE HOME AWAY FROM HOME (Top) Larger vanity space in this labor and delivery patient toilet room accommodates toiletries, while the bathtub and shower provide a hospitality-like feel. > Amenities that help patients feel more at home help make the stay less stressful. Space for toiletries and oth- er personal belongings, convenient hooks and fl attering lighting contrib- ute to a hospitality-like atmosphere. Patient by Patient

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