Odense University Hospital, Denmark

Consultation is just as important as high-quality screens

Screen supplier Silentia and Odense University Hospital have successfully optimised the selection and installation of patient screens at Svendborg Hospital thanks to extensive user involvement.

The project is one of the largest to date for Silentia, but it is also one of the company’s most successful. It all comes down to exceptional collaboration and the open attitudes of Silentia, Odense University Hospital (OUH) and Svendborg Hospital. Each has been closely involved and made its own contribution to the project.

There has been strong commitment by those involved and the results have been equally successful. The emergency admissions ward at Svendborg Hospital has gained a very well thought out and practical solution, which provides a good working environment for staff and effective screening for patients.

The project was conducted in close co-operation with the Facility Management department at OUH, but the staff  were also shown all the possible options and were closely involved in discussions to ensure the best solution.

Silentia and OUH met several times and arranged demonstrations and briefings at the hospital. In consultation with the staff, Silentia and OUH eventually identified solutions that everyone is now very satisfied with. The result of this teamwork has been an exceptionally successful project.

According to Henrik Fribo-Søndergaard, CEO of Silentia ApS, many hospitals ask for the tallest and longest screens available for their wards, but this is often not an ideal solution for the staff and their daily routines. A larger number of short and low screens provides a better view, simplifies daily use and provides better screening.

Smaller screens were also chosen at Svendborg, which meant that the hospital could afford more screens that were not covered by the original proposal. The archi­tect and consulting engineer, who were not totally familiar with the screens, were also involved together with the building contractor.

“It was crucial to get all the users involved. It’s vital that any solution is fully accepted by the staff, so they are happy and can recommend solutions,” says Henrik Fribo-Søndergaard.

SCREENING OFTEN OVERLOOKED
The architects and engineers commented afterwards: “we should have done this much sooner”. There were aspects they had overlooked. As the supplier, Henrik Fribo-Søndergaard was able to help them choose the best options and avoid common pitfalls.

Privacy screens are far from the first consideration when a hospital project gets underway, but they are a very important part of the hospital interior. Everything has to work the first time that it is used. Henrik Fribo-Søndergaard therefore always recommends consultation with the end users: “Normally the contractor or the hospital install the screens themselves, and we just supply them, but at Svendborg Hospital we were asked to install them as well.

“When staff are involved in the process they have a much more positive attitude towards using the screens.

“We were made very welcome and had a great dialogue with the staff. It’s nice for a supplier to be able to follow a project all the way through from the initial drawings to inserting the last screw in the last screen. The choice of screen height, length and quantity depends very much on the way a room is used. It’s affected by the incoming light, hoist equipment, number of patients and relatives in each area. When people come rushing in you need to be able to provide screening.

“This also applies to single rooms, where patients are in clear view when the door is opened. That’s why staff and patients like mobile screens. The entire project involved more than 40 screens from the entire range, installed in rooms with one, two or four beds, on the recovery ward and in the recovery and examination rooms. The project began in November 2010, and emphasis was placed right from the start on ensuring that screens were of high quality and designed to meet high standards of hygiene.”

WHAT ODENSE UNIVERSITETSHOSPITAL HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE PROJECT
Lotte Stenkjær Fletcher, Academic Officer from the Service Centre at OUH Svendborg Hospital, is in charge of loose inventory and IT. She co-ordinated the supply of screens with user representatives:

“We naturally get feedback from others involved in equipment issues, but it’s always best to ask users themselves about their needs, since they will have to use the screens on a daily basis. When Henrik came along we arranged a product day when we brought in the furniture and mounted the Silentia screens. User representatives were then invited in for a chat with the suppliers. It was obvious straightaway that some of them had a change of mind.

“It’s one thing to see the screens in a drawing, but when they learned how they worked and saw them in place the staff quickly realised they had different priorities for the screens. Some screens needed to be taller; others lower, shorter or longer.

“After the staff had seen and heard about the screens and reviewed them again, they made a number of changes to their requests.

“Working with Silentia has been a really productive and positive process. The users are very pleased that they were consulted and the supplier was able to deliver a practical, effective and very useful solution.

“We believe that Silentia offers high-quality products that meet the strict requirements set by OUH’s hygiene organisation. They solve our hygiene problems and ensure good privacy screening for patients.”

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