CDR Research on Infection Mitigation at KU Hospital

color photograph of operating room

LAWRENCE – Gregory Thomas, director of the Center for Design Research (CDR) at the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design, recently conducted a research study at the University of Kansas Health System. The study aims to investigate infection mitigation measures within the hospital environment.

The University of Kansas Health System approached Thomas to collaborate on a research study focused on identifying and developing a program to minimize the spread of infections within the hospital. The study encompasses various aspects, such as hand hygiene, cleanliness of uniforms, surgical scrubs, furniture, and the overall hospital environment.

The study considers the improvements already implemented at the Health System’s older Bell Hospital. However, the focus was on identifying areas that needed further enhancement to upgrade the infection control conditions. While upgrades were made in the Heart Center and Cambridge Tower facilities, there is still room for improvement.

Thomas spent the summer assessing all hospital buildings comprehensively. During this review, he documented existing and potential issues related to infection control. He also included various recommendations in his report. Some of these recommendations involve incorporating new technology, enhancing protective storage solutions, “fanny packs,” including sanitizer, and introducing robotic UV carts for disinfection.

The findings of this study will undergo a review process. Additionally, the information gathered will serve as the foundation for a class project at the CDR. This project aims to conduct more in-depth research based on the initial findings and provide further recommendations for improving infection control measures within the hospital.

This initiative highlights the hospital's commitment to improving infection mitigation and control strategies to ensure patient safety and well-being.

Image: observation of conditions in OR