4 for the 4th: Four Doctors Who Signed the Declaration of Independence

by Erica Mitchell | June 29 2022

Motivated by reason, civil duty, and patriotism, representatives from the Colonies gathered in Philadelphia to put their names on an historic document. That very act put their lives at risk. The date was July 4, 1776 and the document was the Declaration of Independence. Among the 56 signatories, four came from the field of medicine. In today’s post, we’ll examine these individuals and learn about their legacy beyond the document.

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The Public Health System and Infection Control

by Erica Mitchell | June 27 2022

In Washington, a panel is meeting to discuss the future of the US Public Health System. Public health systems came under increased scrutiny during the COVID pandemic, spurring the panel to convene and  determine ways to make the system more efficient and effective. This is no simple task. The public health system is a network of public, private, and voluntary agencies whose shared goal of community well-being belie the complicated structure and organization behind them. In today's post, we'll take a closer look at the goals of public health, the entities that make up the public health system, and the way they intersect with hospital infection control.
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5 Design Updates to Make Sinks Safer

by Erica Mitchell | June 22 2022

Our efforts to reduce hospital acquired infections (HAIs) may have hit a challenging conundrum. On the one hand, we know that handwashing is essential to break the chain of transmission from infected (or colonized) host to vulnerable patient. On the other hand, one of the key tools in facilitating handwashing has recently demonstrated to play a role in transmitting pathogens. That tool? The sink. Many think sinks are beginning to tip the balance toward doing more harm than good.

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What is "Easy to Clean"?

by Erica Mitchell | June 15 2022

Read any hospital design article or walk the floors of any healthcare trade show and you will see these three words: "Easy to Clean." With the growing awareness of the role of the environment in infection control, it's no surprise that furniture and equipment designers are looking to make their products easy to clean. What what does that really mean? Today, we take a look at some ways furniture and related products are designed to be "easy to clean." (We'll look at medical devices and equipment in a future post.)

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Anatomy of a Truly Safe Hospital Bed

by Erica Mitchell | June 13 2022

Today's hospital beds are a product of 1800s innovation, steadily improving with each decade's advancements in health care, engineering, and technology. Patient beds today not only provide a place for rest and recuperation, they can actually improve patient outcomes and prevent medical complications. In today's post, we'll look at some of those improvements and suggest directions for the future.

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Healthcare Buildings that Do No Harm

by Erica Mitchell | June 8 2022

Physicians and other healthcare workers take an oath - whether literally or simply by taking up a profession in medicine - to "first, do no harm" to their patients. It's just taken for granted that anyone entrusted with the health of another individual has the overarching duty to not do additional harm to a patient. But what about the professionals responsible for building the spaces where these patients receive care? What are some steps they can take to ensure that the buildings they design "first, do no harm?" In today's post, we'll explore some key design choices that can make healthcare facilities healthier places to heal.

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Hospitals and Evidence-Based Design Part 3: Today's New Hospitals

by Erica Mitchell | June 1 2022

Evidence-based design became a focus of study in the 1980s. This movement paired design choices with structured, formal scientific research. Rather than relying on anecdotal evidence of design choices, researchers systematically tracked data on patient outcomes. One study, for example, was able to demonstrate a reduction in the use of pain medications by patients in rooms with a view towards nature. 

Evidence-based design can focus on various aspects of hospital function. Decisions about design are influenced by what we know about human psychology and stress, medical treatments, infection control, financial considerations, efficiency, and human movement/traffic flow. Ultimately, the goal of evidence-based design is to improve patient outcomes, safety, and administration.

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© EOS Surfaces and EOScu Blog, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to EOS Surfaces and EOScu Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.