Hospitals are made up of multiple departments designed to provide specialized services depending on patients’ needs. While the teams, procedures, and requirements may vary from one department to the next, the need for optimal patient privacy is an essential component of patient care in any department.
The topic of patient privacy covers a range of aspects of the patient care experience, including creating a personal space, providing a stress-free environment, preventing sensitive information from being overheard, and protecting patients from anything that may jeopardize their health. Privacy screens are very practical for addressing these needs to improve the patient experience and keep everyone in the care environment safe.
The ultimate privacy solution
Hard surface privacy screens are dividers that form protective barriers between patients and the hospital environment. They deliver ultimate privacy for medical examinations and treatment with added hygiene and safety benefits compared to any other privacy alternatives.
Easy to clean: Privacy screens can be wiped clean with a disinfecting solution on a cloth, items readily available in most facilities. The ease of cleaning encourages more frequent cleaning, leading to a more hygienic environment.
Material resource efficiency: Without the need for water or harsh chemicals to clean privacy screens, there is a reduction in wasted water, chemicals, and other materials.
Labor resource efficiency: Privacy screens that can be cleaned in the room mean you do not need an EVS or facilities team to remove them after use and take them offsite to be cleaned. This eliminates laundering and transportation resources for the privacy solution.
Long technical lifetime: With solid structures made from durable materials, the technical lifetime of privacy screens far outlasts that of any other privacy solution. The result is minimal ongoing costs over time after an initial investment.
Design/Aesthetic: Privacy screens can contribute to the visual and physical design of a hospital facility by creating a comfortable, enhanced environment.
For four of the common hospital departments—critical care, emergency department, neonatal intensive care, and perioperative—these benefits of privacy screens can positively impact patient care.
Critical care units, also known as intensive care units (ICUs), are the area in a hospital for patients with life-threatening injuries or illnesses. Patients who suffer from severe burns, heart failure, stroke, respiratory failure, sepsis, and other illnesses and injuries, are taken to the critical care unit.
Teams of specially trained and experienced healthcare providers provide round-the-clock care where attention to the status of the patient is critical. These departments are outfitted with specialized technology, machines, and equipment, like feeding tubes, catheters, tracheostomy tubes, ventilators, and IV tubes to constantly monitor vital signs.
In ICUs, privacy screens provide an easy-to-use and easy-to-clean privacy option. Since patients in this department are in critical condition and unable to move around freely, privacy screens can be cleaned in the room with minimal disturbance. When patients do need to be moved or transferred to a new bed, privacy screens allow full operation of ceiling lifts without sacrificing privacy. Screens also allow caregivers to communicate and interact with patients or view life-supporting monitors while respecting their privacy.
Emergency departments provide specialized medical and surgical care to patients who arrive in hospitals seeking immediate attention. The emergency department personnel also respond to emergencies within the hospital, including when a patient has a cardiac arrest.
Emergency areas are designed with adequate spaces that allow rapid response and mobility of the healthcare professionals attending to emergencies, as well as access to necessary equipment and monitors. Some circumstances also require emergency departments to adapt to fluctuating inpatient populations.
Privacy screens can enhance emergency departments by providing a reliable solution that is easy to maneuver and versatile enough to accommodate whatever personnel or equipment an emergency requires. They are resistant to being pulled down, torn, or stained with substances, making them a safe alternative to any cloth solution. They can be easily attached to the wall or a mobile trolley, expanded or compacted, and rolled around for quick accessibility.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Neonatal intensive care units, sometimes known as intensive care nurseries, are the areas in a hospital where newborn babies requiring intensive medical treatment reside. Trained healthcare professionals, including neonatologists, pediatric residents, respiratory therapists, and dieticians, provide care to infants who have challenges transitioning to outside womb changes. NICU nurses and doctors are trained in a variety of medicines and procedures for ensuring struggling babies are nurtured to full health.
Teams in the NICU rely on incubators, heart monitors, and other special apparatus that help maintain suitable environmental conditions for the infants. In many cases, they also rely on close contact from mothers and families for skin-to-skin and emotional support.
Privacy screens are essential components for accommodating these crucial elements of NICU care. They provide necessary protective barriers around infants needing special care. When it is time for mothers to hold and nurse their babies in private, solid screens help reduce disruption from surrounding noise, allowing babies to enjoy quality sleep, while giving nurses a clear line of sight to view monitors.
Privacy screens are easy to clean and maintain quickly in place without needing to be removed, minimally disrupting patients and families. They can also serve the very practical function of a solid surface for a nurse or physician to knock on, eliminating the risk of barging in on a breastfeeding mother or a family in a vulnerable state.
Perioperative departments handle patients preparing for, receiving, or recovering from surgery. The perioperative staff works diligently to prepare patients physically and mentally for surgical operations.
A perioperative department typically is divided into three areas:
Preoperative: Patients are tested and prepared for surgery, with a focus on minimizing stress and anxiety.
Intraoperative: Patients are monitored, anesthetized, and prepared for an operation, with a focus on cleanliness and infection prevention.
Postoperative: Patients recover and receive post-anesthesia care after surgery, with a focus on reducing stress and encouraging healing.
In any area of a perioperative department, privacy screens provide a protective barrier that separates patients from the surrounding environment, reducing the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), anxiety, and breaches of information. Easy-to-clean design characteristics contribute to a cleaner environment and reduce room turnover time and workflow disruptions. They also allow nursing teams to see monitors without disturbing resting patients.
Additionally, patients and visiting families can benefit from the visual design features of privacy screens. Screens can be outfitted with large photo displays of familiar places or settings, creating peace of mind for the patients and a more inviting care environment.
Privacy for every department
Patient privacy screens create a more comfortable and accommodating space in any hospital department, improving patient safety and care. They offer a cleaner privacy solution that aids infection control while protecting vulnerable or anxious patients.
What is your current hospital department privacy solution? Let us explore your options for creating a better patient care environment with privacy screens. Contact us for more information.