What Can the Designer Do to Fight Healthcare Acquired Infections?

Q: what can the draftsman execute to fight healthcare acquired infections?

A: sensible ward layout and choosing infection beating products will assist.

An American study found an 11% reduction in infection rates in a new private room facility compared to the more traditional layout of older buildings. The American Institute of Architects altered it’s hospital layout guidelines in July 2006 to recommend individual rooms.

The largest impact an architect can have on the spread of infection is to supply single occupancy rooms.

In the UK, the NHS Confederation has gone even further; it suggests single occupancy rooms with en-suite amenities as a way of optimising infection control. The price of such a layout should be viewed in the long term. The financial savings from proficient control are, according to a Philadelphia study, three times the price of control measures.

In October 2006 the Department of Health published the Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of HCAI.

Section 4e states that an NHS body have got to… ensure adequate provision of proper hand wash facilities. Basins should be sited, in addition to washroom applications, in all patient areas, treatment rooms, sluices and kitchens. In clinical areas they must be fitted with wrist or elbow operated mixer taps or ideally a mixer with automatic no touch operation.

Beyond building layout and hand washing facilities, specifying products designed to break the infection chain, will create a safer environment.

The best technique to stop HCAI is to eradicate the infectious agent or refuse it a reservoir in which to grow. Armitage Shanks products are designed to do just that.

The Contour 21 basin first, lets talk about what this basin does not have. It does not have any tapholes, it does not have an overflow, or a chain hole or a plug. What it has is concealed fixing brackets and an integral back outlet. There are almost no reservoirs in which water can promote the growth of bacteria. The original Contour basin was designed purposely for hospital use in the 1960’s and this most up-to-date edition features a new shape and internal construction designed to meet the wants of the up-to-the-minute hospital. The Rimless Contour 21 WC This back-to-wall WC has a simple footprint and no awkward to clean gap between it and the wall. The very profile of the WC denies the bugs the dark damp places they necessitate. In most WCs the rim serves one function; to guide the flush water around the bowl. Regrettably, it also provides a habitation for bacteria. The rimless Contour 21 Pan has no rim. A single, easy to disinfect, outlet works with an internal bowl layout to flush the WC. Performance and hygiene, by layout.

HTM64 taps and mixers for years Markwik HTM64 has set the standard for healthcare fittings. Recently redesigned, the range addresses present issues, principally infection control. The most noticeable feature of the new fittings is one that is omitted, the swan neck. New Markwik now has a horizontal outlet to ensure water drains entirely, reducing the danger of bacteria build up. Not many mixers can clean themselves. Markwik can. By attaching a bridging pipe between hot and cold inlets the mixer can be flushed through, with hot bug killing water. Similarly check valves, filters and strainers can be removed and disinfected without removing the mixer from the wall panel. Markwik fittings feature integral thermostats that mix the water virtually at the taps outlet. This avoids the warm water, bacteria friendly, dead leg common to mixers with a separate remote thermostat.

Steven is the IT Director of MyTub Plumbing Supplies. An online plumbing merchant business with over 150000 lines that are delivered to commercial, local authorities and domestic customers UK wide.

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