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New ICU Treatment Room Designed for Future Hospitals

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 08 Jun 2016
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Image: A staff member in a virtual walk through the new ICU patient room (Photo courtesy of VTT).
Image: A staff member in a virtual walk through the new ICU patient room (Photo courtesy of VTT).
A new project employed evidence based design (EBD) to create a blueprint for a new treatment room in the intensive care unit (ICU) and intermediate care facilities.

Called EVICURES, the futuristic treatment room project is being designed at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT; Espoo), based on input from hospital staff, management, doctors and nurses, patients and their families, the hospital district, and other cooperation partners. The data was collected via questionnaires that surveyed participant views on such issues as architecture, indoor conditions, durability, functionality, safety, accessibility, and usability.

An additional goal was to improve the quality and effectiveness of operations, and to increase both patient and staff satisfaction. The design team therefore employed a human thermal model tool to evaluate the individual thermal comfort of both the staff and patients, resulting in setting new limits for ideal temperature. These were implemented in the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to adjust the thermal conditions to an optimal level, with a view to job and patient satisfaction.

Computer-aided drafting (CAD) methods were used to model a virtual space in accordance with the architectural drawing, which VTT utilized for improving user-friendliness. From this three dimensional (3D) model, VTT developed a videogame that allowed the staff to move around in the ICU facilities virtually and to experience realistic interactive care situations in the new working area. This helped in designing suitable facilities to support actual working practices and increase job satisfaction.

The EVICURES project will be realized when the first single-patient intensive and intermediate care and cardiac unit in Finland will be built at Seinäjoki Central Hospital (Finland). In accordance with the model, 24 single patient rooms will becomes operational in 2018.

“VTT produced the technical research data, which was combined with medical knowledge, practices and future visions contributed by the hospital. This enabled transforming theory into practice,” said Kari Saarinen, project manager of the EVICURES project and chief ICU physician for the hospital district of South Ostrobothnia. “The operations will be more cost-efficient and of higher quality, when the equipment and nursing staff are concentrated into one place. We also expect the solution to have remarkable effects on patient healing.”

Related Links:
Technical Research Centre of Finland
Seinäjoki Central Hospital

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