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UHS Delaware Valley Hospital Improves Patient Experience with Contact Precautions

Although donning personal protective equipment (PPE) is sometimes necessary for healthcare personnel to prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), the resulting delays decrease patient satisfaction with care. UHS Delaware Valley Hospital instituted the Red Line Safe Zone to diminish contact precaution-related distress.

To establish the “SafeZone,” staff place red vinyl tape five tiles in from the doorway entering the patient’s room. This establishes a safe area that maintains a distance of six feet from the bed and its immediate environment. The red line demarcates where people can communicate with patients without having to don PPE unnecessarily. If any contact with the patient is necessary or desired, appropriate PPE must be worn.

Patient satisfaction scores for “Responsiveness of Staff” showed an upward trend immediately following implementation, with the last two quarters reporting a satisfaction score of 100%. There was also a 14% reduction in PPE costs. Post-implementation, the average isolation gown usage dropped from 100 to 86 gowns a week, a cost savings of $1,533 for the year.

For more information, contact Joan Schmidt, L.P.N., at joan_schmidt@uhs.org.