For every project, a designer or builder faces unique considerations to the particular project. When it’s a project related to a hospital, very explicit conditions and needs must be met. Hospital bathrooms specifically must satisfy requirements to ensure patients remain safe and healthy while using them.
Let’s take a look at four of the must haves for every hospital bathroom.
ADA Compliant Features
While very detailed in regulation, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is essentially in place to ensure buildings and facilities are accessible, in terms of architecture and design, to individuals with disabilities. Adherence to ADA guidelines is incredibly important when designing or remodeling a hospital bathroom.
Ensuring available maneuvering space, not only in the bathroom, but also in the shower stall is a must. Patients need the ability to move about in a wheel chair or walker without bumping into doors or sinks, and must have accommodating space within the shower walls for safety and comfort.
Grab bars need to be strategically installed on bathroom and shower walls; showers must have accessible seating; and all hospital showers should have hand-held sprays and accessible trays or shelves for storing soap, shampoo, and other shower necessities within reach.
The “roll-in” feature is also crucial. Patients need to be able to easily roll a wheel chair into a barrier-free shower stall or be able to easily walk into the area without needing to navigate over or step into an entryway. Solid surface showers are available in both standard barrier-free bases and custom bases, to address a potentially unique fit.
General Physical Safety
Beyond the requirements specified in ADA regulations, general safety conditions must be considered when designing hospital bathrooms. Many patients run the risk of falling during their hospital stays. Providing a slip-resistant surface, therefore, is paramount. Some shower base solutions do not provide friction in the naturally slippery shower area, but solid surface showers can be manufactured with a pebbled texture to provide slip-resistance when walking or standing in the shower.
Good lighting is another feature for extra patient safety. A well-lit bathroom and shower stall will help to prevent bumps and footing mistakes.
Flooring and walls that are free of cuts, gouges, or missing pieces are also incredibly important. Potentially lasting decades, solid surface showers can provide a newer feel and will be virtually hazard-free, as the material’s inherent durability will not allow for dangerous cuts in the surface that could bring harm to a patient.
A Germ-Free Environment
Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), infections that patients develop during the course of receiving healthcare treatment, must be avoided at all costs. As a result, hospital awareness is high and prevention is imperative. Avoidance of HAIs is so serious that in many hospitals today, hand hygiene protocol mandates the use of hand sanitizer by all hospital employees upon entering and leaving each patient’s room.
Additionally, every area of a hospital room must be protected: the bed, the equipment, the bathroom, and the shower. All features in a hospital room must be able to be quickly and efficiently disinfected. Using a shower material that can be easily cleaned and sterilized is helpful because bathrooms can be a common breading ground for molds and mildews. Certain types of molds are quite dangerous and can lead to structural damage in the shower, as well as to patient health problems. Solid surface showers are inherently germ-free as the surface of the product does now allow for the growth of mold or mildew. And, the cleaning of a solid surface shower is incredibly easy with a simple soap and water solution.
An Aesthetically Pleasing Appearance
Perception is everything. A hospital bathroom, therefore, must be exceptionally clean in appearance. Some shower solutions, even when perfectly clean and sterile, might give a contrary appearance if stains on the surface or in the grouting are evident. On the other hand, solid surface showers provide a naturally clean appearance through the entire life of the product.
Taking the above factors into consideration will help during the planning phases of a hospital bathroom building or renovation project. Patient safety comes first. Using materials that are well suited to aid in patient safety, therefore, is an important component to the design. Fittingly, solid surface solutions are easily able to accommodate all elements of a safe and compliant hospital bathroom.
Working on a hospital or healthcare project? Call us today at 330-837-2216 or contact us here to discuss your needs.