Medical facilities have a duty to their patients – and really everyone who works or visits there – to control the spread of germs. While different protocols or procedures might be in place, the actual components of the building can be instrumental for this initiative. Doors, for example, can play a big role in how germs are carried throughout a building. Traditional swinging doors may still be used extensively, but hospitals are beginning to recognize the benefits of self-closing medical doors that are sliding.
Because a typical door requires a handle to be pulled or knob to be turned, a person has to physically touch it to get it to work. Throughout the course of a day at any busy business, this type of door may be touched by hundreds of people. And because not everyone is concerned about germs, it is very possible that many of them will have left some residue behind on that door; germs that the next person can easily pick up. Now, germs in an office building are one thing, but they are something else entirely in a medical facility. First of all, because sick people are being treated, there are many more germs floating around. Plus, due to the fact that doctors and nurses visit a variety of patients, these germs can be spread very easily. On top of that, the severity is also heightened, especially when patients are being treated for serious illnesses. In many areas, physicians have scrubbed in or sanitized their hands and it is important that they do not come into contact with door handles or surfaces after taking considerable effort to ensure they are clean.
This is why hospitals need to do everything they can to prevent the spread of germs, and self-closing medical doors can be very effective. These doors open and close by themselves, so immediately the human element has been taken out of the equation. There will be no reason for someone to have to put their hands on self-closing medical doors. There is also never a danger of the doors staying open for too long – or even opening by themselves when not closed all the way – which could allow germs to either get in or out.
Other benefits of self-closing medical doors
Another reason a clinic or hospital should use self-closing medical doors is because they are ADA-compliant and make accessibility easy for everyone. Someone in a wheelchair, for instance, will not have to turn back around to close a door upon entering a room. These doors are also ideal for privacy as the doors will fully close automatically every time, regardless of how much care an occupant has taken to close the door. In any medical setting, privacy is vital, as is noise control. With AD self-closing medical doors with acoustical performance enhancements, the self-closing feature ensures the acoustical privacy will be realized with the door being fully closed. The self-closing function does also have a safety feature, thus pinched fingers or obstructions are not a concern.
Clean Rooms and Smoke Ratings
AD Systems is pleased to offer sliding door assemblies that meet UL 1784 smoke rating requirements. Often there is a code driver or other interest in combining self-closing operation with a smoke rated door. Because the UL 1784 test is in fact a measure of air infiltration across the door way, we will sometimes also see that test used as a metric of the air infiltration resistance of the door or as representative of its fitness for use in an clean room environment. If limiting air transfer across an opening is a concern, self-closing doors are an important feature to include in your specifications.
To ensure that everyone is as comfortable and secure as possible, hospitals need to invest in new design features such as self-closing medical doors. AD Systems has created the most technologically-advanced doors, which are ideal for germ control, accessibility, and privacy.