As more and more patients seek healthcare in outpatient settings, the medical industry is challenged with updating older clinics to meet the higher standards of accrediting and regulatory agencies. RAYWEST DESIGNBUILD has partnered with numerous medical providers to update their facilities and implement best practices throughout the patient-care areas.
Check out four examples where Form Follows Function, our guiding principle at RAYWEST DESIGNBUILD.
BEST PRACTICE #1
There must be clear separation between clean and dirty work surfaces
On countertops next to sinks, all items must be 18” or more from a sink edge or a splash guard must be installed. Most exams rooms are small and do not have long counters for working surfaces. Splash guards contain the wet areas and maximize use of the clean areas. We integrate the splash guard into the counter and backsplash so it is seamless and easy to clean.
BEST PRACTICE #2
Storage under sinks is strongly discouraged
What is usually the dirtiest and messiest cabinet? That’s right, the one under the sink. The best practice is to eliminate the opportunity for storage and use a wall-mounted sink with an open bottom and only an access panel for maintenance. When under-sink storage is used, leaks are often concealed for long periods of time and water-soaked cabinets lead to environmental concerns. Now, if a leak happens it is immediately noticed on the floor below.
BEST PRACTICE #3
Remove carpet from high-traffic areas
In the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) latest “Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities”, it is recommended to avoid the use of carpeting in high-traffic zones in patient care areas where spills are likely. Sounds like common sense but we still see lots of carpeting in medical offices. Where carpet is preferred, we recommend 24” x 24” carpet tiles. When a carpet tile gets damaged or soiled, it can easily be replaced. There are many new vinyl products available that provide endless color and texture options.
BEST PRACTICE #4
Use solid surfaces in healthcare design
Infection control is now a leading healthcare design issue and RAYWEST DESIGNBUILD is recommending the replacement of all older laminate countertops with solid surface. There are several manufacturers of solid surface materials and they are recommended because they are non-porous and microbial resistant. Additionally, sinks can be integrated into the counter with no exposed seams or raised edges to hold moisture and harbor bacteria. They can be easily repaired if damaged and come in a multitude of colors and patterns. Solid surface is now the gold standard in healthcare design.
The best practices shown above are just a few of the many standards that are now being implemented at leading healthcare facilities, clinics, and practices throughout the medical community. RAYWEST DESIGNBUILD also follows the CDC guidelines for the construction, renovation, remediation repair and demolition in the healthcare industry. Our multidisciplinary team stands ready to help you minimize your risk and improve your patient experience through good design and quality construction.