Hospital facility managers and designers constantly assess the status of their facilities through the lens of cleanliness, safety and accessibility. These three elements are essential to patient healing and well-being.

They also apply to the smallest things – like the operators or mechanisms that are used to open and close windows, doors and privacy solutions. Consider the constant adjustment of blinds, privacy glass, curtains, internal louvers or any other privacy solution. These operators are handled by so many people including healthcare staff, patients and their families. This makes them both a hotbed of germs and an important functional tool that needs to be readily maneuverable.

First of all, the need for inclusive accessibility touches everything – even the control of light and privacy. It is therefore of utmost importance that privacy solutions in doors and windows offer operators that comply with the US Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for accessible design. These standards set the requirements for more readily accessible and usable facilities for the disabled. For example, the angling or closing of our glass-encased Vision Control® louvers and ViuLite® integrated blinds to manage visibility and light can be performed with ADA-compliant operators that cater to individuals with disabilities.

Secondly, anti-microbial or anti-bacterial material protection on operators can significantly improve hygiene safety.  These treatments are typically added directly to products during the manufacturing process to provide permanent and continuous protection against microbes. This is especially important on surfaces that are frequently contaminated with germs and require ongoing protection between cleaning cycles.

For example, our ViuLite® internal blinds units come treated with Sanitized® antimicrobial technology using silver ions. The Sanitized® antimicrobial treatment protects against odor-causing bacteria.  Infection risks can cause health hazards that are detrimental to both patient recovery outcomes and healthcare facility costs, so our ViuLite® anti-ligature knobs and tilt-and-raise slider control mechanisms can now help reduce the growth and spread of microorganisms that can be particularly problematic in any healthcare setting.

For healthcare designers with a mission to optimize safety, cleanliness and accessibility – don’t forget the little things that can have a big impact. Make sure your operators are ADA-compliant and bacteria-resistant.