The way a healthcare facility is designed and the materials and furniture chosen can impact infection control efforts, according to an article on the Health Facilities Management website.
Surface selection in healthcare facilities is a foundational issue, according to Linda Lybert, president of Healthcare Surface Consulting LLC and co-founder of the Healthcare Surfaces Summit.
“Most people think of surfaces as part of the design and construction process rather than part of an infection prevention and control program,” she said.
“When selecting materials, a lot of focus tends to be given to colors and textures. Although these aspects of a surface material are certainly important, there are many other surface properties that are critically important, yet are not thought about or given proper evaluation. After all, the most soothing color and texture is of little value to a surface that cannot be cleaned or disinfected properly.”
For instance, it’s important that design teams select surfaces that are easily wiped down by facility staff. Wood, for example, typically is not ideal in high-risk spaces. It tends to be porous and its finishes can quickly be stripped away with repetitive cleanings. It’ll work for low-traffic areas like administrative offices, but not so much for patient rooms, according to a blog by Todd Imming, Chief Marketing Officer for The Korte Company.
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