Prototypes of innovative new designs for existing hospital furniture and equipment, aimed at helping the fight against MRSA and other healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs), will be unveiled today by the Design Council
A range of everyday hospital furniture and equipment was designed to be easier to clean, as well as influencing patient and staff behaviour to reduce exposure to infection.
The ‘Design Out Bugs’ products include:
- A commode that is easy to dismantle for easy cleaning, and takes out the hard-to-clean gaps and joins of current designs.
- A porter’s chair which is durable, comfortable, and has less ‘touchpoints’ where infection can be spread.
- An ‘intelligent’ mattress which changes colour when it becomes compromised by body fluids.
- A patient bedside system comprising bedside storage and over-bed table which eliminates hard-to-clean corners.
- A patient chair with a system of magnetised, removable cushions with easy-change laundered covers.
- A self-timing cannula with an indicator telling staff when the intravenous line needs to be changed.
- Handles for cubicle curtains with a magnetic mechanism, that provides an easily sanitised ‘grab-zone’.
- A wipeable, polythene-covered blood-pressure cuff with magnetic closures.
The Design Council was commissioned to lead the Design Bugs Out project by the Department of Health as part of its HCAI Technology Innovation Programme. The programme aims to speed up the development and adoption of new and novel technologies to help combat HCAIs, especially MRSA and C.difficile.
David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council, said: ‘MRSA and cdifficile dominate headlines and raise concerns for us all. Design Bugs Out has demonstrated that a little bit of good design can go a long way to providing simple, practical solutions based on the real needs of patients and hospital staff. While the designers and manufacturers deserve the big plaudits, the NHS also deserves a pat on the back for recognising design as a midwife for innovation.