Preventing infections from spreading among patients, visitors and staff is a challenge in any healthcare setting, and its been a major focus in the design and construction of the new 862-bed Parkland hospital, Dallas, scheduled to open in 2015, according to a news release.
One of the key safety features of the new hospital is private patient rooms. Not only does this afford greater dignity and privacy to patients and families, but also its an important deterrent to the spread
Community showers can facilitate the spread of Clostridium difficile (C.diff), a type of gastrointestinal bacteria that is a common problem in hospitals, Sylvia Trevino, interim director of infection prevention at Parkland, said in the release. Private bath facilities for each patient will help prevent C.diff transmission.
Standardized room layout is another safety design feature. Every patient room in the new hospital is identical, with sink on the right and patient bed on the left. Doctors and nurses will know exactly where equipment and fixtures are located, helping them convert best practices into every-day habits. Trevino noted the first line of defense in preventing spread of germs is hand hygiene.
Parkland also developed a unique on-stage, off-stage floor plan that has not been incorporated in hospital design before, according to Lou Saksen, senior vice president, new Parkland construction. Areas used by patients and families are separated as much as possible from areas used by staff. This provides a quieter experience for the patient and family, contributing to a more peaceful healing environment. It also enhances patient safety because items such as soiled linens and used equipment will be off-stage, segregated from patient areas.
With more than 14,000 doors in the new facility, door handles could be an inviting place for germs to linger. But the new hospitals no-touch door handles open hands-free to improve sanitation.
For more, visit ParklandHospital.com.