The layout of hospitals and nursing centres has a huge impact on patient safety and on preventing the spread of viruses. This has become all the more apparent during the current COVID-19 crisis. It is of great importance to guarantee a high quality of care and patient safety in hospitals so that patients, visitors, and healthcare staff are optimally protected against infectious diseases. The use of glass in hospital doors and other key passageways, especially in intensive care units (ICUs), can play a crucial role in high quality care. Metaflex emphasises the importance of this and is happy to share its knowledge.
Based on the scientific foundation of Evidence-Based Design (EBD), in addition to the physical environment, behaviour, personal contact, and mental resilience form the optimal Healing Environment. Since the 1990s, the impact of the physical hospital environment on patient health has received increasing academic attention. For example, exposure to (day)light acts as a ‘medicine’ that positively affects the heart rate, blood pressure, immune system, metabolism, and mood. This is why hospital doors, increasingly made entirely or partly of glass, play an important role in the design of ICUs.
Healthcare architects who specialise in the influence of the environment on health are increasingly opting for modern solutions to combine the use of glass with privacy. For example, so-called Smart Glass uses a technology that allows glass to ‘switch’ from transparent to varying opacity levels for instant privacy. In addition, by integrating switchable glass into door panels, healthcare facilities can utilise new privacy spaces they would previously not consider.
Transparent or, conversely, blinded glass (sliding) doors can be used in different areas of the hospital. Automatic glass sliding doors with an escape option can provide a beneficial extra width and increase the view of the patient. Virtually no air is displaced when opening and closing the correct glass sliding door. This is especially important in situations with conditioned or contaminated air behind the door (such as in ICUs). In addition to allowing daylight into the ICU, a fully transparent door also offers excellent observation possibilities, therefor increasing patient safety in hospitals. Because the door closes hermetically, the air remains optimally controlled.
Are you curious about how you can use doors to increase patient safety in your hospital and ICU and reduce the risk of contamination? Download Metaflex’s white paper about the use of glass in ICUs.