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Does Proper Design of an Intensive Care Unit Affect Compliance With Isolation Practices?

Rodriguez, Maria RN, BSN, CIC; Ford, Dennis CHFM, CHSP, CHEP; Adams, Sheila RN, BSN, MSN, MHA

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0b013e3182048048
Infection Prevention and Critical Care: Original Article

Construction or renovation in health care facilities can take place on any given week or in any given area. A great deal of time is spent on planning the project and in securing the appropriate permits and regulatory paperwork in accordance with local and state regulatory authority. Also included in construction planning is the estimated project cost. Once the formal approval is received, the race to complete the project begins. The old saying that “time is money” implies that the quicker a project is completed, the less time and money spent and the quicker the renovated space can be used to build volume. Sounds pretty good––right? Unfortunately, if the end result of the renovation or construction is a poorly designed patient unit, it can affect the manner in which staff provide care to a patient as well as their ability to comply with isolation practices and hand hygiene. In an intensive care unit, there is great potential for hospital-acquired infections. In this article, we propose that planners, end users, and infection preventionists commit to working as a team in order to create units that are clinically functional and safer for the patient.

Northeast Baptist Hospital, (Ms Rodriguez), and Baptist Medical Center (Mr Ford and Ms Adams), San Antonio, Texas.

Correspondence: Maria Rodriguez, RN, BSN, CIC, 8811 Village Drive, San Antonio, TX 78217 (

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.