A recent study led by Lund University researchers suggested that the hospitals should build premises and modify their infection control practices for infectious disease, which lacks effective antibiotics, and vulnerable to fast-spreading global pandemics.
Torsten Holmdahl, the Medical Consultant at the infection clinic at Skåne University Hospital, said that most of the hospitals all over the world including Sweden have become old and shabby. Hence, new methods can be used to design infection control routine in future.
Holmdahl was involved in the studies of planning and construction process of the new infection clinic at Skane University Hospital in Malmö. Holmdahl expressed his opinion when building new hospital premises; the greatest priority should be given to the infection control. Hence, he considered the involvement in new construction in Malmö as an opportunity to exhibit his plans.
The planning included all essential occupational categories in the clinic, including even construction of full-scale, fully-equipped model of a patient room for extensive tests of infection safety and working methods.
The hospital decided to combine knowledge about construction from the time before antibiotics were used in healthcare with the latest requirements for a modern and well-functioning hospital. The result became a building with very high standards of infection safety, with external entrances to all rooms and separate lifts/walkways to the clinic. The ventilation requirements, single-room standards, work patterns of the staff and the interaction with the adjacent emergency room, have all had a major impact and affected the final design.
Cleanliness has a greater impact on the transmission of infection. Conventional methods include manual cleaning and have some limitations. “According to the International studies, in a newly cleaned space, there is twice the risk that the newly admitted patient becomes infected with the previous patient's disease. Or that they take over as carriers of resistant bacteria,” says Torsten Holmdahl.
The study has shown that the automated cleaning systems were the best solutions that could sanitize effectively by the help of machines or robots. Even hydrogen peroxide could be used for the better outcomes, and it could be aired out and decomposed into the eco-friendly end-product.
Holmdahl concluded that the extensive standardization aided in reducing the cost of construction. In the construction of hospital with high standards, prioritization of infection control practices and contribution of experts in designing and construction processes played a significant role.