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Cubicle Curtains: A Critical Need

Updated: Mar 15

It's time to address a problem that patient care areas frequently ignore.

Infections related to healthcare cost health systems millions of pounds annually. The primary cause of transmission is not washing your hands before contacting different surfaces in a patient's room.

There are 23 high-touch items in patient rooms, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even though cubicle curtains are the sixth most often touched surface, they did not make the list. In fact, privacy curtains are the elephant in the patient room because, according to a study published in the November 2008 issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 42% of them are contaminated with Clostridium difficile, 22% with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and 42% with vancomycin-resistant enterococci.

Patient cubicle curtains basically have two functions: safety and privacy. Curtains can be used as a screen by carers performing procedures. In critical care settings, they also absorb spills of blood and other potentially infectious materials.

Although cubicle curtains are useful, there is a dilemma over how to maintain and how often to replace them. There are numerous problems at hand:

  • Many companies do not have a protocol in place for changing or cleaning the curtains in cubicles.

  • Changes in cubicle curtains are often not documented by organisations.

  • There is not enough space at the hospital to hold a large enough inventory.

  • Turnaround time in a room is slowed by laundry.

  • The process of hanging curtains typically takes longer than expected and calls for additional tools, such as ladders.

It's time to reconsider cubicle curtains and take into account non-fabric options, such as:

  • Identifying the department that "owns" the curtains in the cubicles.

  • Using hardware and standard sizes with different mesh lengths to let housekeepers to remove curtains without the need for ladders.

  • Using recyclable polypropylene curtains that save on laundry and cost a tenth of the price of fabric curtains. To make the curtains a part of the hospital's supply chain, they might be piled in totes.

  • Think about installing glass privacy screens.

  • Using pull handles or curtains with clear edges to make it easier for users to know where to put their hands.

  • Recording modifications to guarantee routine curtain cleaning.

  • Finding best-practice solutions requires collaboration amongst departmental colleagues, facility designers, nurses, environmental services, infection control, and others.

Contact Grosvenor Contracts directly to find out more about our disposable offerings or visit our product page. 


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