29-Apr-2011

Through the looking glass

Abstract

Intelligent glass can provide healthcare facilities with better infection control and patient privacy at the flick of a switch, says Martin Potter, international product manager, SmartGlass Medical

Available as wall panels, internal doors, windows or mobile isolation screens SmartGlass provides visibility along with good sound proofing

The UKs National Health Service is currently undergoing a large-scale refurbishment and new build programme to bring its aging infrastructure and facilities into the twenty first century. Nearly a fifth of the NHS estate was built before the health service was formed in 1948 and there are even wards in buildings that date back to the 1700s.1 As a result, 17% of the NHS estate that is occupied has been deemed as not functionally suitable for use.

The current modernisation programme undertaken by the NHS is allowing it to tackle several healthcare issues by using new products, smarter materials and better design. Modern, fit-for-purpose design is at the forefront of new NHS building and refurbishment, and it is helping to tackle issues such hospital acquired infections (HAIs).

The NHS has recently made it a key priority to reduce the levels of HAIs in its facilities. The risk of catching an HAI is relatively small, but it is thought that at any given time approximately 8% of hospital patients can have an HAI.

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