The Healthcare symposium takes a multi-faceted approach to improving patient outcomes through hospital design and management. It brings together clinicians, engineers, and architects. On May 9-10, 2018, the Harvard Medical School Conference Center (Boston, MA, USA) will host experts from around the world to discuss innovations and considerations in hospital environmental design. For more information and registration, please visit: http://healthcaresymposium.org/registration/
Clean Design is a new concept when it comes to constructing hospitals and other facilities. This concept requires understanding and integrating user workflows to create an environment that will reduce the spread of harmful disease. Traditionally, environmental design was strictly the territory of architects and engineers, who understand what is needed for a functional hospital and typically are very aware of the costs of design.
However, the costs associated with pathogen transmission and hospital acquired infections can be astronomical. Saving on costs for efficient designs can be short-sighted, as complicated workflows, and lack of consideration for changes in the indoor environment can increase the potential for hospital acquired infections (Lankford et al, 2003, de Korne et al, 2011). There are multiple aspects to design.
As previously, discussed, workflow is incredibly important. Requiring employees to transfer potentially contaminated containers across hospital rooms, or even across hospital wings is not necessarily harmful, but with each step, touch of a door handle, or change in air flow, the spread, the chance of a bacterium being exchanged on surfaces increases (de Korne et al, 2011). Most people are aware of appropriate surface selection in hospitals. This can include choosing non-porous surfaces in high touch areas, and being very selective about the type of textiles that are used for soft surfaces. These changes are incredibly important, but can be assisted by reducing the number of times the surfaces are used initially. The air is an unseen vector for contamination. Obstructed or inappropriate airflow can initiate a chain of events that liberate particles and pathogens to spread in an indoor environment (Liu, Wang and Wen, 2009). Room humidity also plays a role, as many harmful microorganisms cannot survive in high humidity environments.
The 2018 Healthcare Symposium (http://healthcaresymposium.org/) will discuss these topics in much more detail by bringing in specialists to discuss these topics. Among these
- The use of humidity control to ensure optimum patient health
- Surface disinfection strategies
- Airborne infectious disease management
- Saving energy and reducing operational costs
- Managing the role of indoor air hydration in infectious disease transmission
- Improving staff health, reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity
Featured at the conference will be Dr. Jeffrey E. Thompson, MD, who is the executive advisor and chief executive officer emeritus at Gundersen Health System. Gundersen Health System has been recognized across the country by independent healthcare ratings organizations for high-quality patient care. It has also earned the highest honors of Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Award for 2012 through 2016 and the White House Champions of Change award in 2013. Additionally, myself the co-founder of InfectionControl.tips, Michael Diamond will be discussing the impact of international collaboration on patient safety.
Call for Posters and New Innovations
Attendees are encouraged to present their new innovations and data at the conference to the audience of key opinion leaders in hospital safety. The deadline for abstract submissions is March 30, 2018. Please submit all abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please ensure that abstracts adhere to the following guidelines:
- Abstracts must be within the realm of Clean Design, including, but not limited to surface selection and disinfection, healthcare and public building design, transmission of infectious diseases, resource utilization in healthcare, health promotion, patient and employee safety, and monitoring and control of disease propagation.
- Abstracts should be 400 words or less, and structured to include a purpose/hypothesis, methods, results, and significance section.
- Include a title page that indicates the abstract title, all authors, their affiliations and degrees. Please include the contact information for one corresponding author. This is not included in the word count. Please disclose all potential commercial conflicts of interest for each author.
- Abstracts and their content cannot be previously published.
- Changes to abstracts will not be accepted after March 30, 2018.
de Korne, D. F., van Wijngaarden, J. D., van Rooij, J., Wauben, L. S., Hiddema, U. F., & Klazinga, N. S. (2011). Safety by design: effects of operating room floor marking on the position of surgical devices to promote clean air flow compliance and minimise infection risks. Quality and Safety in Health Care, qhc-2011.
Lankford, M. G., Zembower, T. R., Trick, W. E., Hacek, D. M., Noskin, G. A., & Peterson, L. R. (2003). Influence of role models and hospital design on the hand hygiene of health-care workers. Emerging infectious diseases, 9(2), 217.
Liu, J., Wang, H., & Wen, W. (2009). Numerical simulation on a horizontal airflow for airborne particles control in hospital operating room. Building and Environment, 44(11), 2284-2289.