Patient Restroom Doors
Do you have patient restroom doors? Are they causing your hospital trouble? Hospitals have many unique requirements that can pose great challenges to a design team. In addition to housing hundreds, if not thousands of patients and employees, a huge number of visitors, vendors, and other people may come through on a daily basis. Occupants themselves have a range of sizes and abilities. Because of the diversity, it is important for hospitals to be designed to accommodate everyone, including the toilet rooms and restroom areas.
What are the Benefits of a Patient Restroom Door that Slides?
Typical doors that swing open and closed can be problematic in a medical facility. Swing doors they take up a lot of space when open, particularly those that are used in areas that must accommodate bariatric patients. Plus, they can be unsafe, as well as very loud if slammed shut. Sliding doors are excellent space savers and are especially good for small rooms or other areas where space is at a premium, such as restrooms that are required to fit a lot of fixtures in a confined space along with clearances for maneuvering around them. Regular swing doors can also be difficult to use for people with special needs, such as those in wheelchairs or hooked up to an IV. If the person is by him- or herself, it could take several minutes of maneuvering to get the door open. Sliding doors can often be easier to open and close for those reliant on walkers, scooters, crutches or other aids that require the use of occupants’ hands. Automation is often a solution at entry doors, but it is not particularly viable for all areas such as private restrooms.
When it comes to regulations for doors, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has very specific guidelines to follow, including clearance width. With swinging doors, these rules can often be difficult to adhere to, especially when there is not much space and the approaches to the door in small rooms are taken in to consideration. But, patient restroom doors that slide can often provide an ideal solution.
Anyone who uses a restroom expects privacy, and it may even be more important for people in a hospital. Sliding doors can come with ADA privacy locks, but even if they do not, privacy will be ensured with a special soft-close feature that acts as a type of latch, making sure the doors are completely closed without the patient having to exert a lot of energy and keeps the doors from rolling open. Self-latching hardware is also an option.
Hospitals have an obligation to ensure that their patients are given the best care possible. In order for that to happen, considerations have to be made at the design stage of the building. While there are a million things to consider when planning such a large undertaking as a hospital, nothing should be neglected, especially not patient restroom doors.