The new STICU is Phase I of an overall $38 million ICU Master Plan for Prisma Health Richland. The Richland Hospital is the tertiary healthcare facility for the Midlands region and is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the area. Because of their traumas, patients treated in this unit are the most vulnerable to detrimental environmental effects. Great care was taken to create a unit that would environmentally support patients, staff, and their families – focusing on infection control, therapeutic lighting, expanded room size, equipment placement; and coordination and staff views of and access to their patients.
Incorporating Tunable Lighting
A highlight of the design is the use of “tunable lighting” as a therapeutic treatment and environmental enhancement for patients and staff. Tunable lighting, which uses LED lighting to mimic the natural progression of daylight, is utilized throughout the 18-bed unit. Research has begun to show that this type of lighting may help patients heal faster, decrease delirium, and have less long-term negative mental distress from being in the hospital. This type of lighting has also been shown to increase staff alertness, lessen fatigue, and limit health issues associated with night shift work.
Utilizing Shared Spaces
Another feature is the use of disposal rooms in lieu of patient toilets. As these patients are typically too sick to move out of their beds, the unit utilizes a shared disposal room between each pair of patient rooms, giving staff a close disposal location that decreases the infection issues associated with the transport of sanitary waste. In addition, each disposal room is equipped with a special light that is illuminated when the room is not occupied, that has been tested to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria.