Safety in any building is a concern and an important consideration from design through construction. But safety for patients and healthcare workers is of the utmost importance when assessing the design of all healthcare facilities.
According to results from Health Facilities Management's 2014 Health Facility Design Survey, "patient safety and patient experience will have a big influence over facility design in the next five years." In fact, 89% of respondents are interested in improving patient and caregiver safety. The implications of this influence are vast – from fall reduction to facilitating patient mobility and beyond.
Here are some of the top priorities for facilities to help advance the safety of the patient:
- more locations for hand sanitizing and/or washing,
- increasing accessibility of rooms (assessing handrail placement and fall reduction opportunities) and
- emphasis on infection prevention with antimicrobial surfaces and other preventative measures.
Keeping healthcare workers safe is still a prime concern. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration's data from 2010, there were 653,900 reported injury and illness cases in the healthcare and social assistance industry. Manufacturing, the second highest industry for injury and illness, came in with 152,000 fewer cases. Healthcare workers face a number of safety concerns – bloodborne pathogens and other biological hazards, respiratory hazards, exposure to radioactive materials, ergonomic injuries and more. OSHA data also reveals 249 per 10,000 healthcare workers have work-related musculoskeletal disorders compared to an average of 34 for all workers measured in 2010.
Design of healthcare facilities can have a dramatic impact on safety and even general wellbeing. Combining talents and expertise, our team is committed to an evidence-based approach to design that carefully considers the safety implications when designing a building.