One of the fastest growing trends in healthcare today is implementing efficiency standards based on Lean 5S concepts which can be done by using things such as safety wall signs and photoluminescent tape. This is important because it can benefit hospitals, doctor’s offices and other healthcare facilities to operate more efficiently, which can cut down on costs and improve patient care. In addition, eliminating waste and other problems can have a positive impact on the quality of care given.
One of the ways that many facilities are making improvements is by using floor markings to help with organization and help keep things running more smoothly. Whenever making any changes in a medical facility, however, it is important to make sure that safety comes first.
The following healthcare floor marking policy points can help you to make sure you get the best results from your project. They can also give you some great ideas on how to use floor markings in these types of facilities.
Keeping it Clean
When thinking about a healthcare floor marking policy, one of the most important things to consider needs to be the cleanliness. While all areas of hospitals and other facilities need to be kept clean, some rooms have extremely strict requirements.
For example, a surgical room may have some restrictions that would not be present in a recovery room or a bathroom. This is why, in most cases, operating rooms will now allow some types of floor marking tape to be used. Some tape can absorb or attract bacteria or other potentially dangerous things, which could then cause problems due to the highly sensitive nature of what is done in the area.
If you want to use floor marking tape, make sure it is completely non-absorbent and that it can stand up to being cleaned with the often harsh cleaners that are used in these areas.
Another important thing to keep in mind when looking at healthcare floor marking policies is that the markings must always be easy to see. In many healthcare facilities the lights are dimmed or even turned off in certain areas during the evening. This is to help ensure patients can sleep as much as possible.
When the lights are low or off, people still need to be able to see where they are going. One good example of where this may happen is in the bathrooms of patients who are staying in a hospital. It is important to have the proper floor markings, but they need to be visible even while the lights are off. This is where something like glow in the dark floor tape can be exceptionally valuable.
This type of tape will emit a soft light in the dark so that patients can see it, but they won’t be kept awake with a bright light. This can also help hospital workers who may need to check in the room while the patient is sleeping. Coming up with creative floor marking solutions like this can help make any healthcare facility safer and more efficient.
Uses for Standard Floor Marking Tape
While standard floor marking tape can’t be used in all areas of the hospital, there are quite a few areas where it can be used without a problem. The following are some excellent examples of how you can use this type of tape in your healthcare floor marking policy:
Around Trash Bins – Placing floor marking tape around the area where a trash bin needs to go will help ensure it is always in its proper place.
Around Linen Bins – Similarly, you can use another color of floor tape to identify where the soiled linen bin should go. Another great option for this is floor marking corners.
Wheel Stop Location – Identifying where the wheels on a wheelchair or mobile bed should come to a halt can be very helpful. This will help ensure that everything lines up properly for optimal placement.
Bed Placement Location – Knowing exactly where a bed should be is very important for maintaining a proper environment. Even simple cornered pieces of tape around the bed can help to ensure it is properly situated at all times.
Work Areas – Another area that can often cause trouble is where the nurses, doctors and other staff are working. Having markings on the floor where these individuals spend their time can be very helpful for everyone involved.
As you can see, this type of tape can help to ensure everything is in its proper place at all times. It will benefit the facility in a variety of ways, including limiting the risk of people tripping or bumping into things that are sticking out where they aren’t supposed to.
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This can obviously result in some significant injuries to those who may be standing near a door. Placing floor markings to indicate where the door will swing can help ensure nobody is standing in that area. This will help to reduce the overall risk of injury, and will also make it so staff and others can open doors without worrying.
In addition, this will help ensure nobody leaves their belongings or other items in that area. If something is left there, it could cause the door to become stuck, which is a significant risk. Floor markings on the swing area will help reduce this hazard.
Of course, floor marking tape is just one of many types of floor markings that you can use in your healthcare floor marking policy. Consider getting floor markings that look like feet. You can use these to help show people which way the waiting room is, or where the nearest restroom is. These are especially popular in children’s or pediatrics areas of hospitals and doctor’s offices.
Think of different ways that you can use footsteps or other floor marking shapes to benefit your facility. Many places find that these are an excellent way to make the area safer and more organized while still bringing in a little fun.
Outdoor Floor Markings
Another important area where you can use floor markings is outside the facility itself. Most healthcare facilities have areas just outside the doors that are used for specific things. For example, you can use a specific color of floor tape to indicate a patient loading & unloading area.
You can also mark off your handicapped parking spaces or even indicate an area for emergencies only. The important thing here is to make sure you are using floor marking materials that are made for outdoor situations. In addition to being weather proof, they will also stick properly to concrete or other paving surfaces.
Replacing Floor Markings
High quality floor markings are made to stand up to a lot of traffic, and still last for a very long time. In warehouses, manufacturing facilities and other similar areas, it often doesn’t matter if the tape is getting overly dirty or starting to peel in spots.
With a healthcare facility, however, it is important to make sure everything is in perfect condition to ensure there aren’t any problems. If a piece of tape is starting to peel up, for example, it can be a tripping hazard or it can cause wheelchairs or beds to feel a bump while going over them, which can be uncomfortable.
In addition, the sticky underside of the tape can trap germs and other potentially dangerous items, putting everyone at risk. With this in mind, part of the healthcare floor marking policy should be to frequently inspect all the floor markings, and replace them at the first signs of damage.
Fortunately, floor marking tape and other types of floor markings are typically very affordable. With this in mind, many healthcare facilities will stock a variety of different markings so that the maintenance team can replace them as needed. In most cases, however, these types of markings last a very long time.
Managing a Healthcare Floor Marking Policy
Whether you are creating a new healthcare floor marking policy, or looking to update an existing one, it is important to make sure you are in compliance with all relevant regulations. The healthcare industry has to meet some of the strictest standards, so take your time to review every decision you make.
Remember, there are many different types of floor marking materials, so you’ll need to make sure you are always getting the right one for the right parts of the facility. While this may take a little extra work, you will undoubtedly find it is well worth the effort.
In the end, a good floor marking policy for your healthcare facility can help improve safety, efficiency, convenience and provide many other benefits as well.