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08 October 2020 PRIVA-LITE implementation in CWZ Hospital in the Netherlands, as an answer to COVID-19 pandemic threat

The COVID-19 pandemic has put hospitals to the test and proved that immediate change is inevitable to ensure the safety of both patients and medical stuff. In terms of safety, the industry of new technologies has a lot to offer, creating solutions for interior design of medical facilities. One of such solutions may be the PRIVA-LITE variable translucency glass, produced by Saint-Gobain Building Glass Polska.

Curtains & blinds versus pandemic threat in hospitals

One irony of an infectious-disease outbreak is that it turns hospitals, which should be a refuge for the sick, into hot zones, putting everyone inside at risk. But a silent culprit tends to be overlooked. It is not the patients or the staff or the visitors. It is the building itself. Thoughtful modifications to the built environment — to how health-care facilities are designed, operated and maintained — could help curb the spread of infectious disease, reducing the toll of future outbreaks as well as the covid-19 pandemic raging today - explains Emily Anthes in "The Washington Post".

New healthcare facilities needs can be met by innovative materials, which are less hospitable to microbes as these traditionally used in that kind of places. Nowadays, materials, which are used for privacy in most of facilities are traditional curtains and blinds. Why It’s not good enough? The problem with fabric curtains and with traditional blinds is that they can be contaminated really fast and host numerous human pathogens for months. A recent study by the University of Michagan Medical Center found that 28% of the curtains tested at six of Michigan's top health care facilities contained bacteria that are resistant to powerful antibiotics and are responsible for transmitting disease to patients and medical stuff. Relating this data to the prevailing pandemic, when COVID-19 was first detected in China in Wuhan, doctors examined 138 cases and found that 41% of patients most likely contracted the disease in a hospital.

Good Practises in Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital

The Emergency Department of the Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital in Nijmegen, The Netherlands is an excellent example of a medical facility that has decided to implement the latest technologies, such as PRIVA-LITE switchable privacy glass, in order to raise security and privacy standards. The idea of the project was created in response to growing coronavirus threat. Hospital management made a decision, immediately after pandemic started.

During the main time of pandemic, we had much more patients than normal. The risk of contracting an infection increased day by day. That’s why we decided to implement that solution – says Hendrik van de Mortel from Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital.

50m2 of PRIVA-LITE CLASSIC 44.4 safety switchable glass replaced traditional curtains hung on windows door windows with curtains used to deliver privacy  in all patient rooms on ICU of the hospital. This solution is now used to monitor patients in rooms and also to provide  them with privacy. However, it is above all a safe solution - glass can be cleaned in a few seconds using hospital cleaning agents for disinfection. Therefore, viruses and bacteria do not accumulate on such a surface, unlike traditional curtains and blinds.

Now both our patients and employees can be sure that they are adequately protected against COVID-19 infection. Patients can also feel more privacy by using the easy remote control to switch between glass translucency modes, using dedicated pilot. - says Hendrik van de Mortel, project manager at Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital.

Big advantage of PRIVA-LITE is that this kind of glass is really easy to clean, and also gives the same access to natural light, regardless of translucency mode. Moreover, unlike curtains and blinds, it is resistant to the harmful effects of strong disinfectants (with a concentration of alcohol of 70% and more) as it is glass witch is easy to clean surface.

What about Savings

It's very hard to save money in hospitals. However, it is not impossible. Implementation of new technologies, such as PRIVA LITE can generate significant savings. How?

According to Soriant Healthcare, the annual cost of cleaning fabric curtains for a 400-bed hospital, could easily result in $65,000. On average, 1/3 of the curtains are replaced per year (for wear, tearing and soiling) which would result in an additional annual cost of $ 100,000. Blinds, used for the same function as curtains, are even harder to clean and much more expensive to maintain. According to howmuch.net, cost of vertical blinds installation (the most popular model in hospitals) ranges from $ 50 to $ 115 per window! Switchable glass, delivering privacy on demand, is incomparably easier and therefore cheaper to maintain glass is easy cleaned smooth surface - cleaners can use normal glass care chemicals for cleaning for effective and quick disinfection. It also doesn’t have to be exchanged, in case of its durable (stabile) structure (confirmed by safety standards like P5B and 1B1).

PRIVA- LITE switchable glass has been installed in hospitals around the world for years. It is a product of the leader among manufacturers of innovative solutions for architectural and construction glass - Saint-Gobain Building Glass Polska. Such solutions are ideal for any medical facility where it is necessary to raise the standards of privacy, hygiene and safety.

See more photos of this project.

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