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Private rooms help reduce hospital acquired infections

The Canadian Standards Association has issued standards aligned with US recommendations in that new hospital construction should have single patient rooms.  In Canada, over half of hospital beds are in wards of four or more per room, and hospitals charge more for semiprivate or private rooms than for wards, a price differential that totals an estimated $200 million or more in Ontario alone.  An interesting observation, coming from Roger Ulrich, an international hospital design expert:

  • “…the operational costs of running a hospital for 30 years are at least 15 times higher than the initial capital costs.”

The arguments in favor of single patient rooms are summarized in this series of brief articles.  Among these are patient safety, patient preference (an estimated 90 percent of patients think that having other patients in the room is a significant source of stress), and the ability to run the hospital at a higher occupancy rate. 

Sources:  Stall, N.  Private rooms: a choice between infection and profit.  CMAJ. Canadian Medical Association Journal;184(1):24-25, Jan. 10, 2012.  Click here for full text: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/184/1/24.full.pdf ; Stall, N.  Private rooms: the fiscal advantage.  CMAJ. Canadian Medical Association Journal;184(1):E47-E48, Jan. 10, 2012.  Click here for full text: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/184/1/E47.full.pdf ; Stall, N.  Private rooms: evidence-based design in hospitals.  CMAJ. Canadian Medical Association Journal;184(2):162-163, Feb. 7, 2012. Click here for full text: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/184/2/162.full.pdf  Canadian Standards Association.  CSA Z8000: Canadian Health Care Facilities: Planning, Design and Construction, 2011.   A copy can be purchased here: http://shop.csa.ca/en/canada/landing-pages/z8000-canadian-health-care-facilities/page/z8000/  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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