Burns & McDonnell
Firm's role on the project: Collection and evaluation of data.
One goal for this project was to answer the often-asked question “what flooring performs best in which healthcare environments”, and determining specifically what the preferred flooring would be for healthcare exam and treatment rooms. The material would be selected from a review of performance measures. In addition, the goal was to create a new prototype concept for the exam rooms with a face-to-face consultation desk that supported the integration of the EMR.
The team planned and designed the optimal consultation, exam, and treatment room for a new multi-provider healthcare clinic. A member of the user group challenged the use of carpet. To answer the question, the team decided to setup a research project to determine which flooring material performed the best for each sub treatment area. Three rooms were built with different types of flooring material. The design and construction phases were monitored to assure the three rooms were identical except for the types of flooring materials being studied.
An EDAC certified PhD researcher using critical research from the CDC and other sources developed a “Flooring Checklist”. Our Clinical Planning team expanded and customized the checklist into 47 points. This checklist was used for the first phase of research and was customized for the three rooms, each with different flooring: carpet, textured luxury vinyl tile (LVT) or sheet vinyl flooring. This expanded checklist will also be used for all areas of the hospital, clinic, and lab environments. An evaluation was completed for the three rooms. Evaluation respondents included the:
- Project Designers
- Designers not part of project design
- Healthcare providers who use the space
- Maintenance teams that clean and maintain the floors
Preliminary results of the checklist evaluation determined the preferred flooring for consultation areas was carpet, LVT for the exam area (the back part of the room with the exam table and caregiver countertop/ cabinets), and textured LVT or textured sheet vinyl for the treatment area. Carpet in the front half of the room tremendously improved the acoustic performance and limited the slip of chairs on wheels. LVT is preferred for clean-ability and acoustic performances; as rolling chairs are quieter on the specified LVT over the sheet vinyl. Both LVT and sheet vinyl were preferred for clean-ability over the carpet in exam and procedure areas. This detailed flooring checklist will be used for future projects to determine best flooring for each area in a hospital, clinic or lab.
Burns & McDonnell has teamed with Acceleration Lab to provide lab testing and a PhD researcher to determine if there is a significant difference in the bacteria contamination of the air and high touch surfaces in each of the three flooring materials to determine if flooring material affects clinical outcomes.