With COVID-19 around us, everyone is on alert about the spread of infection. We’ve all been counseled about avoiding contact with infected hands and surfaces as well as keeping our distance to avoid airborne disease. Logical and simple advice. However, in healthcare environments, there are more inter-related personal and environmental factors at work for both patients and caregivers. Every measure helps and any one factor has the power to disrupt.
Take patient room signage for example. We recently designed and patented a signage system for acute care hospitals that can also be used in outpatient facilities. The simple wall-mounted track and slot system allows standardized messages to be displayed and changed to alert hospital staff and visitors to protocols.
The design uses typefaces, color and contrast to increase visibility (which also factors into safety for the mobility-challenged), standard graphics to improve comprehension, and simple forms and cleanable materials that decrease the likelihood of bacterial and viral transmission. Even a small component of the environment like this can safeguard patients and visitors, increase staff efficiency and reduce the chance of clinical error. Holistic thinking can make a big difference.