Seven key questions to ask when choosing patient privacy

A screen system has to be flexible. This combination of floor-mounted folding screen and mobile end screen is simple and effective, and can be extended or moved as required.

When you choose patient privacy there are several requirements that need to be met to ensure the ideal solution in enhancing a pleasant and hygienic environment. In order to choose the best solution, there are a number of key questions that need to be asked.

The best solution when choosing patient privacy is one that will become an unnoticed part of the daily routine; this is a clear sign that the product is working exactly the way it should. If the solution is awkward, does not work, or as is often the case: it cannot give the privacy a patient needs because it simply takes too long to find a screen – then it is obviously not the ideal solution.

But how do you find the best solution? Should you choose privacy screens or curtains? Which is the best solution for hygienic purposes and flexibility? Here are seven questions and answers about practicality, hygiene, and design for you to consider when choosing patient privacy.

1. WHAT CLEANING AND HYGIENE REQUIREMENTS SHOULD SCREENS MEET?
Surfaces in a hospital environment should not provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Equipment must be easy to clean to reduce the risk of infection. Screens for patient privacy is one of ten critical risk areas for infection in the closest area of the patient in the healthcare sector. Hygiene is always a major consideration when choosing the right product.

”Silentia’s Screen System makes it easy to meet the hygiene requirements thanks to its recessed hinges and wipe-clean surfaces. The wheels can be removed and washed sepa­rately. Our concept EasyReturn™ (see point 3) also reduces contact, since a screen can be folded out and in easily by pushing on the handle with just one hand. The screens withstand all types of disinfectants. However, a microfiber cloth moistened with water can be sufficient in some cases. An ATP test before and after wiping down a screen shows that a microfiber cloth moistened with a little water removes organic material; we call this EasyClean™. Even so, each care provider must decide which disin­fection methods are best suited for them.”

2. HOW WILL THE SCREENS FIT WITH DAILY ROUTINES AND TASKS?
Patient privacy should not get in the way of equipment that is permanently attached to the walls, ceiling, or mobile equipment on the floor. The chosen solution must be flexible and allow patients, staff, and porters to be able to move around easily without interrupting the daily tasks.

”Silentia’s Screen System is designed to take up as little space as possible without obstructing ceiling hoists and other equipment. The screens can be mounted on a wall, wall rail, or on a floor pole that eliminates the need to drill holes in the walls. A wide choice of mobile screens and bed end screens ensures flexibility. Ergonomically, the screens are lightweight, quick and easy to handle.”

3. WILL THE PRIVACY SCREEN GET IN THE WAY DURING AN EMERGENCY?
In accident and emergency departments, situations can quickly arise that require more space around the patient for staff and equipment. This makes it extremely important that the chosen privacy screens can be folded out of the way quickly – there is no time to waste on a screen that is difficult to fold.

”Silentia screens are designed to fold very simply – you place one hand on the handle and push to fold them out of the way – so they are practical in everyday use and very quick to fold in an emergency. The patented folding system ensures that screens automatically fold back into place, whether they are short or long. We call this EasyReturn™.”

4. WILL THE SCREENS CONTRIBUTE TO THE OVERALL INTERIOR LOOK?
The furniture, lighting, colors and equipment in hospitals should be chosen to enhance the atmosphere and make work easier for staff. This means that products should not only be practical, but also make a positive impact on the surroundings. For example, if the room does not get a lot of daylight, the screens should not obstruct the light from the windows.

”Silentia screens combine practicality with good looks. Screens are available in various different colors and patterns that enhance both the mood and practicality of a room. Silentia’s Daylight screens let the daylight through while giving complete privacy at the same time.”

5. DO THE SCREENS HELP PATIENTS RELAX AND FEEL AT EASE?
In the hospital, patients are often in uncomfortable and vulnerable positions. A privacy screen system must therefore help staff to protect patients’ privacy, making it easy to screen off beds from intrusion of others.

”Silentia screens are available in a range of heights, lengths, and combinations to provide the best possible privacy. The various color options contribute to the overall harmony, making patients feel more relaxed, regardless of their age.”

6. HOW DO I AVOID MAKING AN EXPENSIVE DECISION THAT CANNOT BE CHANGED?
The world is constantly changing and there is always a risk that unforeseen circumstances could affect your chosen privacy screen solution. Therefore, it is important that the screen system is both mobile and adaptable. It needs to be able to move if the department moves or more space is required for additional equipment around the beds.

”Silentia’s Screen System is so flexible that the modules can always be moved, adapted or extended thanks to the EasyClick™ feature. The modules have a long technical lifetime, so a Silentia solution is both flexible and future-proof.

7. CAN WE SEE HOW A SOLUTION WORKS BEFORE MAKING A DECISION?
The screens may look good in pictures – but will the solution work well in practice? Are the screens large enough and do they leave enough space for the equipment in the department? You should always ask for a demonstration so that your staff can see the various options and if the screens work well in practice.

”Silentia always offers a demonstration in the department itself, with full-size screens and advice on how to come up with the best solution based on 25 years experience as the leading alternative for optimal privacy & hygiene solutions.”

A SCREEN SYSTEM THAT SIMPLIFIES YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Our goal is to make the daily routine easier for those working in hospitals or healthcare environments. This goal and our dedication to excellence is reflected in every detail of Silentia’s Screen System. Silentia’s patented system is manufactured and developed in Sweden and we continuously strive to deve­lop our products in consultation with our customers. Silentia has an extensive experience and has been developing its business and products for 25 years, with 100,000 privacy screens installed around the world.

WHEN PATIENTS INHERIT CURTAINS THEY ALSO INHERIT BACTERIA
Curtain screens between patients can harbour infectious bacteria. Hygienic patient screening is vital in the fight against hospital infections, so Silentia’s hygienic folding screens are becoming increasingly popular in hospitals because they can easily be cleaned and disinfected in place.

LIKE TO KNOW MORE?
At www.silentia.eu you can watch a video that gives a clear overview of the Silentia Screen System.

» Article from the Danish trade magazine Hospital Drift & Arkitektur No 1 January 2014. 

Case Story as PDF »