REDwire Building better health-care facilities

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During the design and construction stages of facilities, infection prevention must be considered.

In health care, surroundings matter. Crowded rooms can spread infection. Poor design impedes workflow. Inaccessible equipment or furniture compromises care and comfort. And inadequate security or emergency preparedness can lead to disaster. 

This was the philosophy behind the release of CSA Group’s landmark standard for health-care facilities design and construction – Z8000. With this standard, Canada gained a nationally recognized reference that outlined best practices for addressing the complexities of health-care facilities. This standard sets the national baseline for health-care facility planning, design and construction, and aims to improve efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and patient outcomes. 

Members of the Technical Sub-Committee that developed Z8000 have called it a central resource for designers, architects, contractors, policymakers, regulators and others involved in building or renovating health-care facilities. It applies to virtually every health-care setting, in any location, from coast to coast.  

Improving infection prevention

During the design and construction stages of facilities, infection prevention must be considered. Spaces should be designed to encourage proper hygiene practices by caregivers, and to limit the spread of harmful micro-organisms. These basic concepts underlie a broad range of requirements and guidance points that are woven throughout the standard, including:

  • Location of handwashing sinks and waterless hand hygiene stations;
  • Material selection and construction of floors, walls and furnishings to facilitate cleaning and disinfection of surfaces;
  • Spatial separation and barriers;
  • Specifications for isolation rooms to contain airborne infection;
  • Storage of personal protective equipment at the point of use; and
  • Workflow design to prevent cross-contamination of medical devices and supplies.

Additional details

Every health-care facility has unique design requirements. The role of CSA Z8000 is to set out the minimum requirements in clear language, so that the principles of infection prevention and control are integrated into every aspect of the design.


CSA Group

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