Hospitals and other medical centers have very unique needs for their doors. A suitable door needs to be hygienic, secure, easily opened in emergencies, easily opened by different people, well-insulated for sound and energy-efficient. With all these competing needs, it’s a bit of a challenge to find a suitable door for exterior and interior use in medical centers. With our knowledge of the best brand and the latest door features, the team at CLAD can help advise you on the best door options for hospitals and medical centers.
Automatic doors are a wise choice for both exterior and interior applications in medical settings. They have many advantages that are useful for staff and patients alike. Here are some of the beneficial features of automatic doors:
- Hygiene: Automatic doors have a huge advantage over other doors in the hygiene department. As patients and staff enter, they will not have to leave behind their germs on the door handle. This can help reduce the spread of germs through the facility and also reduce the time spent by cleaning staff.
- Disabilities: Hospitals are frequented by those with mobility disabilities much more than the average property. Automatic doors that move slowly can help you cater to those with disabilities and ensure that they can get in the building quickly.
- Emergencies: Automatic doors that slide open quickly are a great option for emergency departments. For example, use one at the ambulance bay to allow teams to pull stretchers into the hospital quickly. You can also use the internally for operating rooms and other rooms that might need quick access.
- Energy-efficiency: As automatic doors always close after use, without the staff or patient having to do anything, they are very helpful to keep conditioned air inside of your facility. Sick or weak patients may not close the doors behind them.
Slide and Swing Doors
For interior doors in your facility, you may want to rely on slide and swing doors. While not as convenient as automatic doors, they can be made much more useful for hospital settings. Here are some characteristics of slide and swing doors that you should look for:
- Seals: The seal of your door is important to reduce noise transfer through the door. This helps patients feel more secure and that their privacy is respected.
- Extra-wide: Doors and doorways that are extra wide help accommodatethe movement of beds, wheelchairs and other equipment. These doors may swing wider than normal too.
- Lightweight: Internal doors often need to be opened by people with reduced strength, mobility issues, or other challenges. A lightweight door helps to keep your facility accessible.
What about your choice between sliding and swinging doors? When they can be accommodated, sliding doors are often preferable because they don’t get in people’s way as much. This is helpful for staff who are in a rush as well as for patients with mobility issues.
ICU and Hermetic Doors
Doors for ICU environments, surgery suites, and other tightly controlled hospital rooms need special seals and treatments in order to keep the room inside secure and clean. Hermetic doors are simply those that create an airtight environment (assuming there are no other access points in the wall or that those access points are also hermetic). Rooms with a hermetic door will need special ventilation, which is important to keep in mind.
Radiation Protection Doors
X-rays, MRIs, and other specialized equipment that use radiation should have radiation protection doors. They help you avoid radiation leakage, protecting staff and patients from harmful exposure. These doors are typically lined in a thin layer of lead.
Quality Hardware Options
You should pay special attention to the hardware on your doors, as they can dramatically alter the quality of the door and adds features that patients and staff will appreciate. Here are some hardware options you should consider:
- Bar handles:Long bar handles are preferable for healthcare doors because they help with accessibility for people of different heights and for people who cannot grip things with their hands without pain.
- Antibacterial coatings:You may get hardware with antibacterial coatings to prevent the spread of germs through your center.
- Automatic closers: Even interior doors in hospitals may need automatic closers to help maintain privacy, even for those patients who cannot close their own doors.
- Push bars: Where you can’t have an automatic door but need the door to be a bit more convenient, a push bar can help.
Access Control Systems
Certain parts of your facility should be off-limits to patients or specific staff members. However, physical keys aren’t a wise choice for healthcare settings. They require touch, so they spread germs. Keys can be copied, which is a security concern. Plus, they can be frustrating to handle in an emergency situation. You also have to consider how challenging it is to get door technicians into the hospital to change out the locks every time you lose a staff member.In a large facility this may be very often.
Digital access control systems are a much better option for security in hospitals and healthcare settings. We install OpenPath systems that offer the combination of security and convenience that you need in an environment that deals with frequent emergencies. OpenPath has triple redundancy with cellular systems, WiFi and Bluetooth, so that staff who have access can always get through the door. It achieves this without storing secrets on the reader or sending them in transit.
Your security team will appreciate the convenience of OpenPath too. All of the doors can be monitored from a single monitor, even if you have dozens of doors in your system. It’s easy to add new doors or remove OpenPath from a door, enabling renovations to your space.
Further, when you need to change a staff member’s access, it’s a simple digital system that doesn’t require any lock changes.
Not sure which door, hardware, or access system is the best for your hospital or healthcare setting? The team at CLAD can show you your options and help you choose the right mix of features for your specific needs.