With the accelerated spread of COVID-19 worldwide, many hospitals are facing a major challenge to isolation and quarantine systems. Cross contamination of COVID-19 positive patients with vulnerable non-infected patients is a significant risk. This threat is further exacerbated by unprecedented admission rates, a high density of patients resulting, and reduced fit-to-work hospital staff. When placing patients into isolation rooms or cubicles, consider all traffic coming into and, more importantly, out of the room. Used, and therefore contaminated, patient care items should be handled and managed with the utmost care.

Measures to think about could include:

Compact macerators – compact macerators have been developed for individual patient rooms. These are widely available and help reduce cross-contamination infection pathways

Patient care item disposal point – a secure, hands-free disposal point for patient care items should be installed in each room. This reduces traffic of contaminated devices leaving the isolation room. Trash should be taken out regularly.

Washing stations – stations for handwash and patient care could be installed in rooms to make patient and staff hygiene easier.

Door handles – door handles door opening directions should be regularly disinfected. For information on door handles and infection control, see “Hospital Door Handle Design and Their Contamination with Bacteria” in further reading.

Further Reading

Wojgani, Hedieh, Catherine Kehsa, Elaine Cloutman-Green, Colin Gray, Vanya Gant, Nigel Klein, and Vishnu Chaturvedi. “Hospital Door Handle Design and Their Contamination with Bacteria: A Real Life Observational Study. Are We Pulling Against Closed Doors? (Hospital Door Handle Contamination)”, PLOS One 7, no. 10 (October 15, 2012): e40171.