CS product manager featured in industry publicationLebanon, NJ Wednesday, March 14, 2018
The Evolution of Barrier-Resistant Door Function & Design
Original article by Mike Delin, CS Product Manager - Acrovyn® Doors
Door functionality for behavioral health facilities has significantly improved over the last decade. Behavioral health facilities established a standard practice to seek and select doors with specialized locksets, hinges, emergency strikes, over-the-door alarms, closers, fasteners and other items designed to keep patients safe. One of the most significant innovations in behavioral health facility doors is the barrier-resistant door.
Barrier-resistant doors, also known as wicket doors, feature a small, compact door within the main door, which gives facility staff access to a room if a patient were to barricade themselves inside. These doors provide patients with the privacy they need while allowing staff easy access to patient rooms in an emergency, therefore reducing safety and liability concerns.
These industry improvements help behavioral health facilities to prevent what the Psychiatric Times1 estimates to be about 1,800 suicides per year at inpatient facilities, half of which result in a claim against the facility. In addition to facility considerations regarding life safety, behavioral health environments need interior design that is conducive to healing. These fast-paced, high-traffic settings also require doors that are durable enough to hold up over time.
Behavioral health interiors have evolved from institutional to residential styles to hospitality motifs. Today, focus is placed on incorporating warmer colors as well as wood pallets to create a more organic environment that can have a positive effect on healing and length of stay. Well-maintained, high-quality environments also convey a sense of respect for patients and concern for their comfort and well-being. Barrier-resistant doors are available in styles that complement and enhance the look of a facility. Finish options include a vast array of colors, wood grains and simulated metal patterns.
According to Sally Danker, an interior designer with EwingCole, “Research shows that healthcare settings can be extremely stressful environments for patients, families and caregivers, but thoughtfully designed healthcare environments can reduce patient anxiety, create patient satisfaction and improve outcomes.”
Danker recently wrote a whitepaper in collaboration with Construction Specialties where she shares current findings about positive visual distractions and color in healthcare settings to reduce patient stress and increase their satisfaction. She added, “The built environment of healthcare settings can often exacerbate anxiety or create additional sources of stress. However, well designed, human-centered spaces have the ability to rejuvenate patients, families and staff.”
Doors in behavioral health facilities face constant wear and tear from carts, beds and equipment. Barrier-resistant doors are available with durable, impact-resistant coverings that hold up to high traffic. Replaceable components provide extra insurance to extend door life. Additionally, bacterial- and fungal-resistant treatment options are available to help reduce the incidents of healthcare associated infections.
Barrier-resistant doors give behavioral health facility managers a safe solution that is both functional and visually appealing. This long-lasting door type meets the high-stakes challenges associated with life safety and liability in behavioral healthcare facilities. +
1 Inpatient Suicide: Identifying Vulnerability in the Hospital Setting. (2012, May 23) http://www. psychiatrictimes.com/suicide/inpatient-suicide-identifying-vulnerability-hospital-setting
+ To request Sally Danker’s whitepaper entitled Using Positive Visual Distractions and Color in Healthcare Setting to Reduce Patient Stress and Increase Patient Satisfaction, click here.
Mike's original article appeared in Door Security + Safety's March 2018 issue, pp. 22. Request the archived issue here.