The issue of infection control in the healthcare environment is fraught with complications. With regulations already in place, it is clear that there is no room for error for hospitals when it comes to hospital-acquired infections. In addition designers are hearing from clients, patients, and staff on the issue of finding safer, environmentally friendly alternatives to materials used within the hospital and patient room as well chemicals used to clean rooms, equipment, or furniture. It’s a topic that may seem as if it has been talked about ad nauseum, however, with new research emerging each day about the benefits of healthier environments, it is plain to see that there is still much to learn.  

One of the topics from the second IIDA Education Day webinar event hosted by HEALTHCARE DESIGN and again produced by our partner organizations, International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and The Center for Health Design was on “Infection Control vs. Sustainability in a Healthcare Environment”. The presenters, Janet Kobylka, IIDA, , AAHID, EDAC, LEED AP BD+C, senior associate, healthcare, HOK, and Debi Fuller, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, Green Advantage Certified, senior interior designer, sustainable knowledge leader-Dallas, HOK, gave very interesting information that in turn elicited great questions and comments from the audience in attendance that day.

The presentation focused on learning about the harm that exposure to toxic chemicals can have on patients, hospital staff, and the environment; research that can help to fight infection control without damaging the environment; and identifying ways to execute environmentally safe plans in the healthcare environment and the current chemical hazards that are in hospitals.

Making the selection and implementing the use of safer alternatives is still a thorny subject for some hospitals. What is not difficult to understand is that without a strong buy-in for sustainable programs from the very top levels of management alongside all levels of employees, the initiative will be hard to support.

To register and listen to this webinar, click here.