In our previous posts about DALYs and QALYs, we have defined the terms and presented how the healthcare field calculates these two measures of disease burden. In today's post, we will narrow our view to just hospital-associated infections and their disease burden. After reading this post, you should have a more detailed picture of the impact HAIs have on American lives.
Large-scale healthcare projects, from new projects to renovations, face a challenging future. After the tedious process of securing permits and getting approved plans and even issuing press releases, many of these ambitious projects stall due to financial pressures. Increasingly, healthcare systems may hit the pause button as they take a closer look at cost-benefits, with emphases on expanding market share and reducing cost of care. In today's post, we will look at how a healthcare project can help achieve both goals by focusing on proven infection prevention infrastructure.
Have you ever struggled with a gas nozzle that didn't fit, only to find it was for the wrong type of fuel? Or have you ever tried to add one last item to a running washing machine only to be confronted by a locked door? These and countless other mundane experiences are the result of error-proofing potentially dangerous or destructive equipment we use on a daily basis. Under the Toyota Production System developed in the 1960s, Shigeo Shingo used the term "poka-yoke," which means "avoid mistakes." This concept is now an integral part of many efficiency and safety systems: Planning for errors and designing ways to prevent them. In today's post, we'll explore how the concepts of poka-yoke could be applied to infection prevention.
Few architects have the vantage point brought by a career in healthcare spanning 4 decades. Professional leaders with this kind of experience, in addition to thoughtful reflection, give us a priceless perspective on where we have been, where our past has brought us today, and what our options are for tomorrow. One such leader is Sheila Cahnman, FAIA, FACHA, LEED AP, a healthcare architect who recently shared her thoughts on innovation in healthcare design, both in a published article and a follow-up interview. In today's post, we'll explore how this architect sees the field of healthcare design, a field where when it comes to innovation, we reap what we sow.
In a previous posts, we explored the idea of evidence-based design, the place where science and aesthetics join forces to help patients and healthcare professionals. Today's post highlights one of today's hybrid designers who is paving the way towards the hospital room of the future, Megan Kalina. This Medical Planner's ideas come to life in life-saving healthcare facilities around the country.
Overbed tables are essential in patient rooms. They serve as a surface for food trays, and can hold personal items such as phones, computers, or books. Even healthcare workers uses overbed tables for holding medical devices or supplies. All this usage means one thing: Overbed tables are one of the most-touched and most-contaminated surfaces in a patient room.
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.
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.
After thousands of years of medical care provided in homes and religious buildings, health care moved into the public sphere. Buildings were constructed solely for medical purposes, with patient quarters, staff facilities, and specialized equipment. However, no other era saw as much transformation in healthcare as the years between Florence Nightengale in the 1840s and the golden age of antibiotics in the 1940s. Today's post will examine the transformation of hospital spaces during this time period.
With life, there is illness. Some of the earliest examples of life on Earth, bacteria, show evidence of invasion by viruses. Our earliest recorded history includes written accounts of individuals trying to make sense of illness and injury. These early records, and the experiments and efforts that accompanied them, are the first examples of the scientific method which resulted in all our modern advances, including evidence-based design.