Considerations for Automatic Doors in Healthcare Locations

Automatic doors are just about everywhere you look in modern society. Whether you’re visiting the bank, grabbing some grocery shopping, or heading into your office for work, it is no longer surprising to find an automatic door on your journey which will move dutifully out of your way before quickly closing up behind you. The healthcare industry is no different, with everything from research labs to hospitals and care homes now hosting automatic doors on their interior doorways or external entranceways. But which automatic doors are best for such environments? When dealing directly with patients, who may be sick or elderly, the following considerations are important: Allows ventilation If you’re visiting a hospital, chances are you could be sick. As we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, airborne particles are responsible for spreading some illnesses and things like face masks and ventilation help prevent these particles from proliferating their viral or bacterial ailment. For the entranceways on hospitals and care homes you therefore want to ensure that you aren’t trapping people together in small areas – exactly like a revolving automatic door does. Opt for a clean opening automatic door like a swing or slide one in order to keep ventilation and prevent the spread of airborne illnesses. Timing is everything When working with hospital patients it is highly likely that you may find yourself treating people who have little mobility, or who use a wheelchair or other physical aid to support their walking. These people will need to be taken into consideration when the automatic doors are programmed, as a speed setting too high could cause the door to attempt to close on a patient. Ensuring that the sensors are positions as such to prevent this or that the speed settings on the door are adjusted should prevent this. Use sensors, not buttons Automatic doors can be operated in one of two main ways: either a sensor detects your presence, or a physical button or switch exists to open the mechanism. Many doors employ both methods in conjunction with one another to ensure full accessibility. However, due to the spread of viral and bacterial particles from one person to another via unwashed surfaces, a sensor-only (or, only keeping a physical button as a last resort back-up) system should prevent this by allowing all users to operate the door completely hands free.

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