Assessing the functionality of temporary isolation rooms

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Abstract

Background

Challenges with limited single rooms and isolation facilities in hospitals have created an opportunity for temporary, portable isolation technology. This article describes the process used to evaluate the prototype of a new isolation room (RediRoom; CareStrategic Ltd, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) that can be installed in existing hospital ward areas. Our aim is to assess the functionality of this new room, and in so doing, to evaluate the methods used.

Methods:

We employed a mixed-methods approach involving video recording, interviews, and objective temperature and humidity measurements within a crossover interventional study. Participants completed a range of clinical activities in the RediRoom and a control. The setting for the study was a clinical ward environment at an Australian higher education institution.

Results:

There were similarities between the RediRoom and the control using a range of measures. The time taken to complete a range of clinical activities in both rooms was broadly consistent. Network analysis also suggested broad similarities in the movement of nurses undertaking activities in both rooms.

Conclusion:

Our study attempted to simulate a clinical environment and clinical activities and provide the best possible comparison by completing activities sequentially, with immediate feedback to researchers. Video recording added significant value to the process because it provided some objectivity. A form of reflexive ethnography with participants could be of value in similar studies in the future.

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