Being able to turn patient bays around quickly has always been a high priority in healthcare settings, particularly emergency care, where speedy patient throughput is essential for keeping waiting times down. It’s also vital in high dependency and intensive care, where bed spaces are limited and time is of the essence.
By their very nature, EDs and ICUs are places within the hospital where infection control is of maximum importance. They host the very sickest patients, posing the highest risk to staff, visitors and others.
But in a post-Covid world, hygiene standards across the board in hospitals are likely to be ramped up even further. It’s clear that any and all surfaces have the potential to spread disease, which means it’s not just the ‘high risk’ areas of a hospital that need to be ultra-hygienic, it’s the normal assessment areas, observation bays and inpatient wards as well.
Of course, these beds are often under pressure too, especially when the emergency department is busy. Being able to turn bays around quickly between discharge of one patient and admission of another can reduce waiting times in other areas of the hospital. Ensuring that these turnarounds are fast, safe and hygienic all comes down to cubicle design and selecting the right partition solutions.
Hospital curtains are likely to come under a good deal of scrutiny in the wake of Covid-19. Historically, there has been some complacency around the laundering of hospital curtains in low-risk wards – unlike bed linens or clinical equipment, they are often overlooked when it comes to infection control procedures and are instead laundered on a time schedule, be it weekly, fortnightly or monthly. But a recent Canadian study showed that 87% of hospital curtains tested positive for MRSA after 21 days even when the patients in those bays did not have MRSA. This raises lots of infection control questions in the current climate, since we know that viruses can survive on surfaces for days or even weeks. As a result, we predict that facilities are going to have to launder their curtains much more often from this point on.
Belroc’s InstaSwap curtain system offers a practical solution to the challenges this poses. Traditional hospital curtains are slow to change out, and require staff to balance on ladders or step stools while they unhook the curtain from the track, and again while they attach a fresh curtain. Their size and weight makes them bulky to store and expensive to launder. Last but not least, inventory can be a nightmare because different size curtains are needed for different rooms.
InstaSwap is an innovative two-part curtain with a non-porous mesh top section. The mesh attaches to the track using a conventional hook and eyelet system. The mesh is fully washable, but because it’s non-absorbent and doesn’t get handled, it doesn’t need to be changed out so frequently. The lower portion of the InstaSwap privacy curtain is made from opaque polyester treated with antimicrobial agents to reduce the growth of bacteria. This portion attaches to the mesh using simple, heavy duty snap fasteners and can be replaced quickly and easily without the use of ladders. Panels are a standard size; custom mesh is used to accommodate differences in ceiling height which means one panel fits every room, making inventory a breeze. Lastly, the curtain panels are lightweight for reduced laundry costs, including wear and tear on appliances.
All these features combine to make InstaSwap the most sustainable and safe non-disposable hospital curtain around. With this system in place, staff can achieve faster bed turnarounds without compromising on hygiene and without risking injury due to falls – a significant cause of absenteeism in the Canadian healthcare system. Contact Belroc today to learn more about InstaSwap, or to arrange a free consultation.