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Knowledge Repository

Using the health care physical environment to prevent and control infection: A Best Practice Guide to Help Health Care Organizations Create Safe, Healing Environments

Author(s): Martin, D., Dickey, L., Taylor, E., Conway, L., Myers, F., Bennett, D., Nichols, A., Wright,, P., The Association for the Health Care Environment (AHE)
Added April 2020

Life Safety Code Comparison

Author(s): Crowley, M. A., Harper, J. E.
Added May 2014

Medical Gas Cylinder and Bulk Tank Storage

Author(s): McLaughlin, S., Dagenais, D.
There are particular requirements for storing medical gas cylinders as well as requirements for bulk tank storage in healthcare settings; these regulatory requirements exist specifically for cylinders that are not in use. In use refers to cylinders being used by a patient, or attached to equipment and ready for immediate use, or located in patient rooms about to be used. Requirements vary depending on the total amount of cubic feet of gas needing to be stored, with the most stringent regulations for more than 3,000 cubic feet of gas, less stringent requirements for 300-3,000 cubic feet of gas, and the least stringent requirements for less than 300 cubic feet of gas. These requirements are in place to reduce the risk of accident and injury.
Key Point Summary
Added March 2014

Physical Environment Provisions of USP “Pharmaceutical Compounding—Sterile Preparations”

Author(s): Beebe, C.
USP <797> reports standards and policies for all physical environments in which compounded sterile preparations (CSPs) are prepared, packaged, and stored. The standards apply specifically to people who prepare CSPs and must take care to reduce the risk of contamination from their behaviors, hygiene, and clothing (i.e., garb). Clinical workers whose work lies within this realm must be individually trained and evaluated to maintain the standards and reduce microbial contamination that results from contact.
Key Point Summary
Added September 2014

Converting Medical/Surgical Units for Safe Use by Psychiatric Patients: The Physical and Fiscal Risks

Author(s): Hunt, J. M., Sine, D. M.
When repurposing medical/surgical units as behavioral health units, there are a significant number of elements within the physical environment that must be modified to support the specialized needs of the patients and reduce the risk of self-harm and harm to others. While intention for self-harm cannot be reliably assessed, suicide is a major concern on psychiatric units, and therefore there is a need to design the unit as if all patients may be at risk for self-harm. 
Key Point Summary
Added March 2014

Operating Room HVAC Setback Strategies

Author(s): Love, C.
Operating rooms (ORs) have significant HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) standards and requirements, yet the rooms tend not to be in use upwards of 40% of the time. As a result, an excessive amount of energy is wasted to maintain air standards for no reason during that period of time. Hospitals have an opportunity to save a significant amount of energy by employing HVAC setback strategies, which minimize the amount of air supplied to the rooms when they are unoccupied. The decision of whether or not to employ a setback strategy for a hospital’s ORs requires an assessment of staff usage, existing conditions, and associated costs.
Key Point Summary
Added March 2014

Health Care Wayfinding Integrates Four Aspects to Become Carefinding

Author(s): Cooper, R.
Carefinding is a term that refers to an evidence-based approach to designing wayfinding systems in healthcare settings, catering to the needs of the users of those spaces, particularly patients and their caregivers. Successful wayfinding in healthcare facilities requires consideration of the user experience, the wayfinding process, the wayfinding plan, and implementation of the plan. 
Key Point Summary
Added March 2014