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Patient Rooms: Thinking Big by Noticing Small

Patient Rooms: Thinking Big by Noticing Small

New hospitals can cost $1.5 to $2 million per bed, and renovations can be just as costly when modernization and downtime are factored in. For that kind of investment, the facility must be able to adapt to or withstand changes large and small.

Considered drops in the bucket during a large construction project, the small ones—things like hand sanitizer dispensers and receptacles for soiled linen, sharps, and gloves—are often afterthoughts in the design process, and they look that way. (Putting soiled linen receptacles behind the patient room door is an example.)

You can avoid that by simply thinking through these and other questions early in the design process: What is the preferred process for handling soiled linen? Who empties the hamper and how often? How often do glove boxes and sharps receptacles have to be changed?

Finally, consider if the initial cost of a wall-mounted tool rail for nondestructive changes might be more cost effective than ongoing wall repairs.  When a hospital's hand sanitizer vendor changes, so does the branding, which means the hospital must replace 1,000 dispensers. What started as a single drop rapidly fills the bucket to the brim.

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