Automatic doors help contain infection

Besam UK is installing thirty automatic door systems as part of a major refurbishment of six wards at the Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

The installation of the Besam UniSlides is the fulfilment of a long-term goal for the infection control team at the hospital. Infection control specialist Marlis Emery says the automatic doors help prevent the spread of infection by creating a physical barrier.

“The biggest spread of infection is often through hand contact, so the foot switch is an ideal solution as people do not put their hands on the glass door,” Marlis reports. “The foot-activated opener is also convenient when staff are removing items like bedpans.  Since they don’t have to use their hands to open the doors, we can further reduce the risk of spreading infection in this way.”

Previously, Hinchingbrooke Hospital used temporary barriers when dealing with infectious patients.  But this short-term solution was not ideal because the barriers were time consuming to construct, only closed off two bays, and didn’t isolate the whole ward. 

Both the patients and the staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital have benefited from the automatic door systems.  In addition to helping prevent the spread of infection, the automatic doors provide a quiet environment and enhance privacy for patients.  Staff and visitors in the halls are undetectable to the patients in the bays and doctor-patient conversations are cannot be overheard in the corridors.