Odense University Hospital, Denmark

Folding screens replace curtain screens

Odense University Hospital (OUH) has been testing and comparing new folding screens from Silentia ApS against old curtain screens as privacy screening for patients. The results clearly showed the benefits of the folding screens.

Should we stick with good old curtain screens to provide patient privacy or should we invest in the new folding screens from Silentia?

This was the question that ward nurse Pia Dybdal and the staff and ward managers at Odense University Hospital (OUH) had to ask themselves after a trial of 18 new, white folding screens from Silentia measuring 1.55 m high and 3.75 m long. The trial began in May in connection with the extension of the intensive care and recovery department.

“The decision was clearly in favour of the folding screens. It’s no secret that I was very sceptical and unsure about the introduction of the folding screens. Firstly I was in doubt about the practicality of the screens, whether they would be flexible enough,
and secondly it would be an expensive decision that could not be reversed.

“But on the whole I can definitely recom­mend the use of folding screens – they are the screening solution of the future. They have major hygiene advan­tages, they are attractive and they give rooms a very light and welcoming appearance, and both the patients and the staff have been very pleased with them, despite the initial scepticism,” says Pia Dybdal.

Pia is so satisfied with the new screens that an order for folding screens has also been placed for the next project, starting in late August, when Silentia will supply patient screens for an extension to a surgical ward at OUH.

IMPROVED HYGIENE
The outcome naturally also pleases the CEO of Silentia SpA, Henrik Fribo-Søndergaard:

“It’s great to hear that the trial has had such positive results, and I really look forward to working with the hospital in the near future.”

Silentia is a Swedish-based company with headquarters in Falkenberg, where 25–30 employees produce the full range of screens, available in many different combinations of sizes, mounting options, colours, etc. The Danish arm of the company was founded one and a half years ago by 48-year-old Henrik Fribo-Søndergaard.

The main advantage of the folding screens over curtains is hygiene. Research in the U.S. (*see backside) has revealed the presence of contamination containing pathogenic bacteria in 119 out of 180 curtain screens that were examined. Folding screens are easy and straightforward to clean. Other benefits are that rooms with folding screens are brighter, the screens do not get in the way of hoist equipment and that folding screens provide the best possible screening for patients and a good working environment for staff.

EXCEPTIONAL FLEXIBILITY
The screens offer great flexibility, so screen­- ing can be tailored to suit equipment, patients and staff.

The ambition behind the development of the Silentia screen system is to create products that are easy to use, easy to install, easy to clean, can easily be combined with each other and are aesthetically appealing to patients and staff.

The product range is extensive and comprises a system of folding screens, end screens and fixed screens that can be mounted on trolleys for maximum mobility, fixed to the wall or floor using a pole, or attached to existing wall rails.

*The research study was led by Dr. Marin L. Schweizer at the University of Iowa Hospital and was completed in late 2011. The  researchers carried out tests on 43 curtains twice a week for three weeks, and found bacteria in 119 out of 180 samples. The researchers also installed 13 new curtains at the hospital, and within one week 12 out of 13 of them showed contamination.

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