More household accidents occur in the bathroom than any other room in the house, and the same is true for hospitals. There are many options to consider for safe hospital bathroom designs.
One key component is where the bathroom itself is located. There is considerable debate over whether the bathroom should be located closer to the headboard of the bed, making it a shorter walk for the patient and reducing the likelihood of a fall, or if such a short walk encourages patients to try and make it to the bathroom without assistance, increasing the chances for an accident. On the other hand, some studies have shown, patients who are more mobile while in the hospital are discharged earlier than those who stay in bed. A longer walk to the bathroom may encourage patients to get out of bed and regain strength.
1. Use solid surface materials.
In addition to reducing the risk of falls, a good bathroom design can help prevent health care-associated infections (HAIs) by making them easy to disinfect. It is highly recommended to use non-porous solid surface materials for countertops, shower walls, and pans. Solid surface materials are durable, seamless, and eliminate the potential for leaks, which open up the threat of mold, mildew, and bacteria build-up.
2. No sharp edges or tight corners.
Rounding off countertops, and placing toilets, sinks and showers in accessible places within the room will help mitigate injuries should falls occur.
3. Raised toilet seats, and shower seats.
Installing a higher toilet seat makes it easier for weaker patients to get on and off of, while a shower seat can be extremely helpful for patients who are medicated or otherwise unsteady.
4. Proper Lighting.
Patients may need to access the bathroom at all hours, and they are often medicated or otherwise incapacitated. Having bright lighting that is easily turned off and on is one more safety measure that can make a difference.
For those seeking safe hospital bathroom designs, you’ve got some choices to make. And while there is no one-design-fits-all to ensure patient safety in a hospital bathroom, your decisions must be made based on building codes, philosophy, and cost.
To find out more on how solid surface materials can help keep create a safe hospital bathroom design, contact us today!