(Part 3 of 4) Continuing from my last post “Big Changes in Exam Rooms and Dental Offices“, throughout the book there is an emphasis on infection control which has become such an important issue in healthcare today. In a dental setting, both staff and patients are exposed to a wide variety of infectious microorganisms in the blood and saliva of patients. Proper infection control measures used in the treatment room, sterilization and dental laboratory prevent cross-contamination. Design professionals will benefit from understanding regulations relating to this issue which includes options for purification systems for water used in treatment rooms for dental hand-pieces or syringes. In medical offices, specific specialties are especially vulnerable on the issue of infection control. As an example, in oncology offices, the lab in which chemotherapy infusions are prepared must have vented biological safety cabinets and equipment locations carefully laid out to reduce the possibility of errors. Readers may be surprised to learn about the huge risks in endoscopy settings due to poor design of the workroom in which the fiber optic scopes are cleaned.
Concepts that are top-of-mind for healthcare providers and organizations such as “building blocks of high-performing primary care,” “redesign of continuity of care,” “ACO quality metrics,” “new HIPAA regulations,” and the use of telemedicine are explained.
LEED is making inroads in medical and dental office design as issues of sustainability and a healthy work environment become more important. Discussed in the “Construction Methods and Building Systems” chapter, the guide may answer questions for those not completely familiar with the process and particulars.
An update on codes including ambulatory and office-based surgery will be welcomed by many readers to clarify which agency has jurisdiction and which regulations pertain to each setting.
Stay tuned for the final part of this Healthcare Design Blog Series discussing topics in my new book: 4th edition of Medical and Dental Space Planning