In the process of hospitals accreditation, which aims to improve the quality of services provided to users, inside structural requirements that need attention, there are the microclimatic conditions in the hospitalization rooms to guarantee the best comfort possible to patients. Do not exist at the present uniform quality standards for hospital rooms. It was therefore appropriate to conduct a study on the actual state of microclimatic conditions existing in hospitals in Italy with the aim of monitoring the status quo and identify the possibility of the adoption of measures to ensure or improve the quality of the environment residence of patients, and derive the standard of microclimatic comfort to propose.
The study, which involved hospitals in Rome, Cosenza, Sassari, Palermo, Catania, Messina, was conducted during the winter and summer from 2005 to 2008 with the adoption of an operational protocol, which has defined the procedures to conduct monitoring. The recorded parameters were temperature, air velocity, relative humidity, lighting, and through appropriate software, the microclimatic indexes PMV, PPD, TOC, and TE. Finally, the opinion provided by the objective indexes of thermal comfort was compared with the subjective sensation of comfort expressed by patients. The principal hospital rooms monitored were reanimation, surgery, and internal medicine.
The results evidenced that average temperatures are around 23°C–24°C with increases of about 1°C–2°C during the summer, humidity values are generally within the limits of normality. The values of PMV often results in negative values indicating a high degree of dissatisfaction. In contrast, the majority of patients indicated a comfort sensation.
The obtained values were processed to set optimum range for hospitalization rooms to be included in the Italian legislation.