Essential Things to Consider When Designing Decontamination Areas

Ideally, all health care providers must see to it that their clinics house dedicated areas for clinical activity and decontamination work separately. A health care provider is duty-bound to provide the patients with a safe and clean environment that meets the established standards. So, when it comes to a dental clinic design as well, a dedicated decontamination area becomes of vital importance. All the dentists are expected to comply with HTM01-05 and CQC requirements and standards. So if you are a dentist, it is crucial for you to have your clinic and surgery designed accordingly.

We at Dental Surgery Refurbishment offer top quality dental fitouts and refurbishment services that meet all the required standards. Here, we have mentioned a few essential things that you should keep in mind when designing decontamination areas 

Understanding the Decontamination Area Layout and the Workflow

The process of decontamination is a one-way process. The decontamination of the instruments must be carried out maintaining a dirty-to-clean workflow. This is to minimise the risk of decontaminated instruments coming in contact with the contaminated or used instruments. It consists of various stages such as cleaning, disinfection, cleaning and sterilising.

As for the layout, the decontamination room should be dissected into two separate areas. One for cleaning, disinfection and preliminary inspection and the other for final inspection, serialisation and wrapping of instruments. Also, the layout must include good ventilation and extraction units. Wherever possible, the movement of air should be directed from clean areas to dirty areas.

Now that we have understood the workflow and basic interior layout of a decontamination room, let us look at the list of important things to consider whilst designing it.

A Decent Level Of Task Lighting Must Be Equipped

The general ambient lighting is not adequate for use in decontamination rooms. Special dedicated lamps or lighting are required for effective inspection of cleaned instruments. You can also consider installing a special wall lighting that offers soft concentrated lights. This special lighting system is also instrumental in avoiding injuries to staff carrying out the decontamination process.

You can reach out to us for installation of a dedicated lighting system if you are considering a refurbishment of your decontamination room. We are one of the most trusted names in London, when it comes to modern dental clinic design.

Implement Impermeable and Non-Slippery Flooring

It is essential that the flooring in a decontamination room should be continuous and impermeable. You can also consider a cap and cove flooring in which a vinyl sheet flooring continues up the wall. Such flooring systems are preferred to avoid the accumulation of contaminants in the joins of the flooring. A continuous flooring is also easy to clean.

As well as being impermeable the flooring in a decontamination room should be non-slippery. This is to avoid any sort of injury to your staff and thus, maintaining their safety and well-being.

Install Medical Grade Cabinets/Storage And Smooth Work Surfaces

A decontamination room does require sufficient storage spaces and a robust cabinetry. These storage spaces are essential in keeping the operating space as free as possible. Since cabinets and storage spaces are used to store sterilized packages, cleaning agents and other essential things, they need to be made up of high quality medical grade materials. You can use the same materials as in dental surgery cabinets.

Moreover the work surfaces must be smooth and non-porous. This makes them easy to clean and discourages the build-up of the contaminants on them. You can consider impervious materials like laminate, stainless steel, granite, etc.

Appropriate and Adequate Sink Units

Since the process of decontamination includes cleaning and disinfection of instruments, you must consider installing dedicated and adequate sink units. Separate deep sink units, one for cleaning and disinfecting and the other for hand-washing are recommended, ideally in proximity to hand wash dispensers. You can also consider using non-touch taps for both hot and cold water. 

Install Necessary Equipment

Selecting all the equipment that you might be needing for the decontamination process before creating the design plan is of crucial importance. You must ascertain the proper space for all the required equipment like ultrasonic baths, sterilisers, autoclaves, etc. This ensures there is adequate worktop area for all these equipment. Also this helps in avoiding any clutter on the work surface. While planning the design, you must also make sure that the steriliser is kept well away from other activities.

Some Other Considerations

As well as all the considerations mentioned above, you must also keep a hawk’s eye on these other vital things. Whilst designing a decontamination room, you must make sure there is adequate bench space. You can prevent damage to the sterilised packs by planning a dedicated cooling area for items removed from the steam steriliser.

Besides this, it is recommended to avoid using fabrics in any form such as curtains and carpets. You can opt for custom-made blinds instead.

So, if you are considering the refurbishment of your dental clinic or planning to set up a new one, do not miss out on including a dedicated decontamination area in your dental clinic interior design plan. You can choose to partner with a reputable fit out and refurbishment company like ours who has an experience of more than 25 years in creating flawless dental clinic layouts.

We at Dental Surgery Refurbishment can help you with dental clinic design ideas that are unique to your requirements. The testimonies of our satisfied clients are proof that we carry out all our projects in compliance with the dental clinic design standards and guidelines.

To have a bespoke dental clinic design plan created, contact us now and our dedicated team will be more than happy to help you.