Recently, the topic of preventing infection through design, material selection and modified building practices has been of particular interest among healthcare-facility design professionals-so much so that this topic has been included in the 2014 FGI Guidelines.
The new Guidelines include recommendations on infection prevention, architectural details and engineering design for building systems. The Guidelines will put in place new minimum building standards, and may include new regulations about features that can be included in future hospital designs. For example, a ban on open water sources in new hospitals has been proposed in an effort to bolster infection prevention efforts.
The 2014 draft has made an important change to how risk assessments should be handled, by combing all risk assessments for health care facility design into one. This assessment, called the ‘Patient and Caregiver Risk Assessment,’ addresses patient safety and care, as well as infection control in health care facilities.
Authorities in 42 states, as well as several federal agencies use FGI’s Guidelines as reference standards for many healthcare facilities, so if you work on projects in these areas, it is important to read the document and figure out how the new standards may impact your work plans.
In the mean time, you can get a jumpstart preparing for the new guidelines by researching and getting training in infection control. Because this topic is a new focus in the 2014 Guidelines, it is important to arm yourself with knowledge on the best building practices and designs to comply with infection control guidelines.