This post was reviewed and updated on June 25, 2020.
Like any tool in the hospital construction or facility management toolset, a hospital anteroom is an investment. As a budget-conscious professional, you are understandably wary of tools that appear to serve only one purpose and would rather look for a way that you can make your investment go further, help more departments, and ultimately improve your performance.
Following are three ways that you can use a healthcare anteroom to make your most important jobs — patient safety and comfort — easier and more effective.
According to 2014 data from Becker Hospital Review, 58% of hospital construction projects valued above $50 million were considered “new work” rather than additions or alterations. This means, of course, that the remaining 42% of those same major projects are in fact additions or alterations to existing structures. Healthcare construction that takes place in existing buildings represents a unique challenge to facility personnel and contracted construction professionals. In many cases, patients continue being treated in the facility while construction takes place, putting them at higher risk for healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs).
The use of hospital anterooms can play an important role in reducing the risk of HAIs during construction projects. An anteroom provides a layer of protection between construction sites and patients areas, keeping construction debris and dust contained.
With more than 5600 hospitals in the U.S. and only 37 planned major construction projects in 2014, construction containment is not a significant threat for the majority of healthcare facilities. However, regular maintenance of facilities and equipment is an issue at 100% of hospitals in the U.S. and around the world. Like construction, maintenance can be a source of dust, debris, and pathogens that put patients at risk.
A healthcare anteroom can be useful in cases of routine hospital maintenance that is limited to a single room, corridor, or area. By using an anteroom, workers can move between the maintenance area and patient areas without fear of contamination. While ceiling access carts are useful for smaller ceiling access maintenance projects, some maintenance requires larger crews and therefore larger isolated areas, making a perfect scenario for a healthcare anteroom.
While construction and maintenance are certainly critical to patient care, proper isolation is more directly related to the patient experience and limited HAIs. Using an isolation anteroom is a highly effective way to maintain patient and staff safety in the face of infectious diseases. When a hospital anteroom set up is performed correctly, the anteroom can operate as a Class IV infection control area (as indicated by the Infection Control Risk Assessment Matrix). Further, when used with a negative air machine, an anteroom meets requirements for both the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for emergency patient isolation, as required in cases of bioterrorism or highly infectious diseases such as smallpox. In fact, for emergency situations, the portable, reusable anteroom is ideal because it can transform areas not usually used for isolation into appropriate patient areas.
Anterooms and useful, convenient, and cost-effective. Choosing an anteroom for your healthcare facility can have a measurable impact on patient experience and facility compliance.
For a free assessment of your project and help selecting an AnteRoom that makes the most sense for your situation, click below.