Seen the hashtag #WBW2019 going around this week? Well it is World Breastfeeding Week and we are celebrating with our sister company Lactl.
When an employee returns from maternity leave, she wants to be a productive and profitable employee. But having a baby can drastically change your lifestyle. Including adjusting to needing to express milk - even at work.
Employers love open plan spaces, a trend of traditional new office build or restructures are typically seeing more and more open plan spaces being utilised. They have been seen to save money, typically increase productivity, collaboration and creativity.
All sounds great right? Great for the general employee, working environment, and employer, however after returning from maternity leave nursing mothers often could be left out of the design.
NO PRIVACY TO PUMP
Typically a lactation space isn’t top of the priority list when designing office spaces, and nursing mothers are often left to improvise. Open plan spaces can often be noisy and distracting, and if a mother wants a private space to pump, this is often lacking.
One study found that 60% of women didn’t have access to a private space at work to express milk.¹ The health benefits for both mother and baby are well documented, so for these barriers to continue simply because of an office layout is unacceptable.
The only private space available usually ends up being a bathroom. This is less than ideal as this can be unhygienic and uncomfortable for a mother trying to express milk, not to mention if there is only one bathroom in the facility.
We’ve also heard stories of mothers having to use conference rooms or a storage closets! But often these have to be booked out with advance notice, and again can be unhygienic and cramped.
Pumping can be one of the most challenging aspects of the transition back into the workplace, especially when breaks, space and hygiene are concerned. New mothers need to express milk as often as they feed their child at home, which means 3-4 times during the typical workday. With at least 15 minutes per session for set up and cleaning.
PUMPING ISN’T A PRIVILEGE, IT’S THE LAW
America is paving the way toward better rights for breastfeeding employees by introducing specific lactation laws that dictate employers requirement to provide a lactation space other than a restroom, and reasonable break time to non exempt (hourly) employees needing to breast pump. Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, and the further Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA) require this to be available for one year after the child’s birth - every time a mother needs to express milk.
In some states, such as California, state laws exceed this and state that all non-exempt and exempt employees be provided with a private space to breast pump.
In the UK workplace regulations require employers to conduct a risk assessment and to provide a space for breastfeeding mothers to rest upon their return to work. And the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that a bathroom is not a suitable place to express milk, and that employers should provide a private, safe and hygienic space for mothers to express milk.
A NEW KIND OF PRIVACY
At KwickScreen, we believe all mothers deserve a private, clean and comfortable place to breastfeed and pump - whether they are at work or not.
Or privacy screens can provide completely private, dignified and hygienic spaces to be created in an instant. Our screens are all retractable, which enables space to remain multifunctional. A closed off area for mothers to pump when they need, and open plan or available for other members of staff when they don’t.
Our privacy screens can be extended to corner off an area, and with an internal lock and handle are completely secure. When not in use, they can be retracted back into the base and the space will function as usual.
To maintain your career and support your family is difficult to balance, and returning to work should be as stress-free as possible. Happy employees means a good working environment for everyone, and a more profitable business.
Don’t leave your nursing mums out of the design.
Have a look at our newly launched partner brand Lactl for everything privacy and pumping in the workplace!
It’s no secret that worldwide pressures on healthcare systems is at an all time high.
Huge rises in patient numbers globally is placing unsustainable demands on hospitals and healthcare facilities, with bed space demand outstripping supply.
NHS Digital states that there were over 23.8 million attendances to NHS A&E departments in England throughout 2017-2018, a 22% rise since 2008-9.
However it’s now not just in the emergency rooms that bed availability is scarce, this is now transcending to inpatient wards with increasing amount of hallways doubling up as bed bays. Dubbed “hallway medicine” by healthcare professionals, it is not an uncommon procedure now in many hospitals worldwide.
Admitting patients to hallway beds helps improve throughput in Emergency departments, and to provide care when there literally is no where else for patients to go in hospitals.
In the US, a big concern is the possible violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), which requires healthcare providers to protect patients personal health information, when patients are placed in hallways. Not to mention confidentiality breaches in the UK, and throughout Europe too.
However the most obvious issue is the lack of patient privacy and the loss of dignity that can occur.
Providing life-saving care is obviously of the utmost importance, however ensure patient wellbeing including basic human rights to feeling dignified is a closely qualifying second.
There have been many links between quality of environment and patient rehabilitation time, including physical and mental wellbeing. Providing a private space for patients is integral to that.
With the already steep pressures on healthcare systems, expensive remodelling is often not possible with tight budgets, so providing flexible, multi-use solutions is an excellent alternative.
Patient privacy screens that act as a room divider between beds, can even shield and separate patients placed in hallways and other temporary space solutions.
The use of printed graphics and appropriate imagery can also promote the reduction of stress, and associative stress with clinical environments that many patients experience.
Being placed in a hallway bed is not a situation that any patient should experience, however sometimes acts as the only alternative, and flexible space management solutions such as KwickScreen can make this unpleasant experience as dignified as possible.
Southern Health NHS is one of the largest trusts in the United Kingdom. We cover a huge range of services: from community, mental health, and specialised services, to minor injuries, surgeries, and x-rays.
As the Programme Manager, I'm responsible for the administration of the funding we use for all capital purchases. I also work with the estates team collaborating closely with our clinical colleagues about the challenges they face delivering clinical services.
We look for ways to support the clinical teams in delivering better outcomes, and to improve our buildings and our estate to deliver more efficient and effective clinical services. We try to deliver the best value and quality. We see where innovation and development can support our services, while also ensuring we think creatively and seek a greater array of options and solutions. One such example was in our minor injuries children’s waiting area.
Minor Injuries, Many Children: Seeking a Soothing Solution
We have a minor injuries unit within our Petersfield Community Hospital location. It's very highly regarded by both the local community and also the hospital employees. The service was amazing, but we didn't have the facilities for a children's waiting room. The challenges in creating a children’s waiting area were all space-related: the unit was small and the surrounding infrastructure was very restricted.
An ideal children’s waiting room would allow our young patients to sit comfortably amongst their own peer group, not cause a disturbance to others, and would provide a calming environment to reduce their anxiety. In turn, this would make their trip to the minor injuries unit a less traumatic experience.
Any options we suggested had to provide visibility to the staff, so they could keep an eye on waiting children, and it also needed to be separated from waiting adult patients. The problem was that hospital space was at a premium and we had no room to create this area. So we looked around the hospital and spotted an area that almost suited our needs, but missed the mark because it directly opened into a corridor.
It had a great set of toys and plenty of child-appropriate seats—but the location was highly unfortunate. If we asked children to wait there, then they or their siblings could run up and down a corridor and cause disturbance. There were also other people waiting nearby as part of the outpatient clinic. Seeing a child in distress might, in turn, cause them distress.
We looked at several different plans to see how we could utilise this space to support waiting children and their parents in a suitable, secure waiting environment.
Worth the Wait: The KwickScreen Experience
We looked at a number of solutions, including whether we could actually create rooms within the environment. We discussed whether we could put up partition walls, but that would involve us changing the airflow in that area because of the configuration of the air handling. That solution would have been very costly. After considering a variety of options, we chose KwickScreen, which we had seen in trade magazines.
We pitched the idea to our fire and infection control teams, who were thrilled with the solution. KwickScreen is fire retardant and can be cleaned with a multitude of different disinfectants and cleaning products depending on how they become contaminated. They also easily moved, and if the screens become damaged we can just zip out the screens themselves and replace the panels.
The screens have been placed at right angles to each other, so they form their own room. Then, if an unwell child’s siblings accompany them on the trip to the unit, the screens help the parents easily contain the additional children. This is especially important since it can be difficult when parent needs to bring all their children with them when only one is unwell. The contained space means the children are less likely to run up and down the corridor because they have all their toys in one place and an interesting environment.
It also enables the children to feel as if they have their own space in a busy environment. The screens do well to cut down on noise, even if children shout or bang on the toys. They don't touch the floor or ceiling, but they do act as baffles, so you hear more happy background sound rather than full-on noise.
We wanted the area to still be usable by different people at different times, as well. Thankfully, KwickScreen can roll straight back into the wall. So if we have a big audiology or speech and language clinic, KwickScreen will allow us to make the children's waiting area larger or smaller based on how many children we have.
The beauty of KwickScreen is that we attached them to the walls. We can then create a lovely little area for our children, but we can also unbolt them from the wall and move them to our new waiting area when we re-configure the hospital. There will be absolutely no loss of investment. It is a truly positive move for us.
Under the Sea
To help with the aesthetic of the environment, we printed designs on the screens with different pictures, both externally and internally. From the outside, the screens say Children's Waiting Area, and have our trust’s colours. But when you sit inside, you’re immersed in a big underwater adventure.
We produced some mock-ups with viewing windows so staff could observe the children through the screens as they walked by. We envisioned the design leaning more towards a fairy castle-playhouse theme. But once we showed the designs to the seven- and eight-year-olds and asked their opinion, they didn’t like our idea. They wanted an underwater theme with an octopus, shark, and clownfish (popularized by the children’s movie, Finding Nemo). They loved that idea.
Creating an underwater theme enabled us to have a large viewing area at the top, so when staff walked past they could still look inside and observe. It would also be helpful for the patients because people wouldn’t feel as if they've been forgotten or ignored—they could still see people's heads moving past. It wouldn’t give the impression they've been sequestered or secluded. For the children, the underwater theme would create an adventure.
Our initial KwickScreen art design choice was a case where we were proven categorically wrong. That was fantastic because it enabled us to involve the community in decisions about their own community hospital. In addition to the children’s focus group, we put up some pictures of the different screen ideas and asked the children who visited the hospital to leave their comments. Receiving a wide range of views helped us finalise the design. It’s worked out so well because we listened to our patients and the community we serve in order to give them the best possible healthcare experience.
Promoting Patience in Our Youngest Patients
From the feedback we’ve gathered, the children love being in the new waiting area. And parents feel satisfied that the waiting room is appropriate for their little ones, instead of sitting in a large, impersonal, waiting room with everyone else.
Parents don’t have to worry about their child making noise and causing a disturbance. They feel like they have somewhere special where they can wait. And with the viewing screens at the top, they can call upon the staff they see walking by if they have any concerns about their child. They’re literally steps away from a member of staff.
The staff who have used KwickScreen think they're brilliant. They love that the children are nearby and the staff can check on their patients more quickly and easily.
Staff can be observed walking by the KwickScreen waiting room and nodding or waving to the adults, reassuring them that they’re not forgotten. It allows adults to feel they're in an area that's suitable for their children, while still being a part of the hospital. People want to feel respected, that was our aim with this project, and we believe we've achieved that.
Community Healthcare Starts with Improving Patient Experiences
KwickScreen allows us to efficiently use a multipurpose space without compromising fire regulations, infection control, or ventilation, while enriching the environment for our children. KwickScreen has, for a comparatively small capital outlay, made a huge difference. Our League of Friends within the hospital actually donated in support of the project because they could see the benefit of it. They were pleased that we had come up with an innovative solution to improve the children's waiting facilities.
With this project, we've lost no space while saving thousands of pounds in the hospital reconfiguration budget. We might not need that space all day every day, but when we need it, we can provide it.
For us at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, this scheme has highlighted how innovative solutions—and some direct feedback from children—can truly deliver outstanding results. What started as a challenge to build a children’s waiting area transformed into a creative, flexible use of space and intelligent use of funds to deliver an exceptional patient experience. And, to us, we believe that’s what effective and meaningful community healthcare is all about.
The pressures placed on modern day hospitals, particularly on the NHS, are mounting every year. Growing populations means growing demands on healthcare, with demand outstripping supply in many hospitals globally. The number of patients having to endure mixed sex accommodation has trebled in the last two years new reports show.
Airports often require flexible layouts. The modern day airport has evolved dramatically with the introduction of low cost travel and budget package holidays. Vigilant and ever improving security standards, right from check in to runway, means that often security requirements change faster than spaces can be re-designed.
No one goes to hospital because they want to. People go to hospital because they have to. The role our environment plays on mental health, and the quality of our healing process, has been long well known. However for many, thoughts of hospital or healthcare environments are not associated with calming restful healing places, but rather more the opposite.
Fall 2018 has been a busy time for KwickScreen, with trips to Austin TX for the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo, Boston MA for the New England Society for Healthcare Materials Management, Phoenix AZ for Healthcare Design Expo & Conference and Dusseldorf, Germany for MEDICA. Starting lots of conversations and projects which are already underway.
Our HCD Expo Highlight
Everybody’s highlight from Healthcare Design Expo & Conference in Phoenix AZ earlier this month was Ingrid Fetell Lee's keynote speech on the Aesthetics of Joy. We've brought it back to the London HQ and have written a blog to spread the word about it!
Ingrid Fetell Lee is a designer and founder of The Aesthetics of Joy, her speech shared the extensive research of joy, and its applications within healthcare design. For our team, Ingrid’s speech was the most captivating and relevant towards our development as manufacturers of interior products. Ingrid describes starting the exploration of joy with asking strangers: What brings you joy? Collating answers like sunsets, sandcastles on beaches, candles on birthday cakes and rose gardens. Discovering that though the feeling of joy is ephemeral, we can access it through physical things.
To read the full article, click below:
Launch of the Duo
The Duo is the newest addition to the KwickScreen family. It is the total privacy solution, combining the flexibility and lightness of the Air with the portability of the Pro. The screens individually pull out up to 10ft, enabling you to corner off spaces instantly. It creates an L-shape to fit around a bed or obstruction, or stretches to a full 20ft length.
We love sharing your stories, especially when we have helped solve some of your spaces problems. If you haven’t already, why not read Jennifer Calzada talking about the evolution of Tulane University’s simulation training courses.
Issac Garcia, the Environmental Services Director at Boston Children’s Hospital & Sodexo, uses KwickScreens to bring a top end restaurant experience to the hospital canteen.
We are back from the Healthcare Design Expo and Conference in Phoenix! We met so many people and listened to a number of workshops and talks, but for those who missed this year’s conference, or as a reminder to the attendants, we wanted to share our highlight: The opening keynote speaker Ingrid Fetell Lee. Her speech shared the extensive research on the aesthetics of joy, and its applications within healthcare design. For our team, Ingrid’s speech was the most captivating and relevant towards our development as manufacturers of interior products. We thought we would give you an overview of the talk and show you how we have been inspired to add more joy to the products we offer.
“Colour is life; because a world without it appears to us as dead.” Johannes Itten
Ingrid Fetell Lee is a designer and founder of The Aesthetics of Joy, former design director at Ideo, and author of ‘Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness.’ Her speech focused on the way physical environments can potentially affect our well-being. Beginning with an excellent example of Tirana, Albania. A city which was in a desolate state of high crime rates, rubbish filled streets and no money to repair the damage. In 2000, a newly elected Mayor Edi Rama took a small amount of funding for Historic Preservation and painted vibrant designs and colours on the cities buildings. The city slowly came back to life after a period of deep decline. The citizens stopped littering, businesses began to open and crime began to decline. It was a joyful revival, the city became the inspiration for the people to thrive.
This story echoed with an experience Ingrid had at a review in her first year of design school, when a professor made an offhand comment of her work: “Your work gives me the feeling of joy.” How could a word which is fleeting, intangible and ephemeral, describe such ordinary objects and what had evoked such a feeling. Through this connection between her work and joy she discovered a breadth of research that demonstrated the link between our environment and our well-being, that joy has the potential to change the way we feel physically and emotionally.
Ingrid laughingly describes how she started her exploration of joy by asking a number of strangers: What brings you joy? Collating answers like sunsets, sandcastles on beaches, candles on birthday cakes and rose gardens. Discovering that though the feeling of joy is ephemeral, we can access it through physical things. Designers use the term aesthetics - the properties that define the way an object looks and feels. She quotes Florence Nightingale, who often talked about the effect of variety on illness. That monotony is the deadliest thing for patients. As designers we have pushed form over function, aesthetics to being subordinate to the function, especially in healthcare. Ingrid however has found that deprioritising aesthetics left joy out of design, that form and function should be balanced in design.
Often the physical world has little or no impact on our inner joy, which seems strange in a healthcare space which we can spend a considerable amount of time recovering in. These environments are typically minimal settings to maintain cleanliness and sterility, but in this they can lose their joy. In her talk, she focuses on three of her identified aesthetics of joy - ten categories which have distinct connection with the feeling of joy and tangible qualities - to help inspire the way we should be designing healthcare spaces: Energy, Abundance and Freedom.
With each word she presented examples of spaces changed from an injection of joy.
Publicolor is the nonprofit launched by Ruth Lande Shuman, who became aware that middle schools in East Harlem resembled prisons. She decided to transform these underserved New York City public schools with bold, vibrant paint. The effect of this? The perception of the space changed, the danger began to dissipate and a more focused environment was created.
Here in the UK we have a similar organisation Global Street Art, which exists with a mission to live in painted cities. Working across the UK and worldwide on projects with councils and other public bodies. For example: Their Art for Estates program is a new initiative which aims to increase the amount of public art on London's housing estates. Organising over 30 murals in one Chalk Farm Housing Estate in Camden!
At KwickScreen we do the same to hospitals, with large format vibrant printed partitions, that Global Street Art and Publicolor do drab city spaces.
Emmanuelle Moureaux, a French architect uses the principle of abundance when designing her spaces. An example presented by Ingrid is her renovation of a care homes visitor area, where she added vibrant colours and confetti like artworks. After the renovation, they found the families who visited the residents stayed longer; becoming an inviting space of comfort and healing for both patients and staff.
Roger Ulrich conducted a seminal study in 1984 of gallbladder patients, looking at their well-being in relation to their environment. In the study, some patients rooms had a green view while others had a brick wall. He found the patients with the open view healed faster after surgery and needed less pain medication compared to the other patients, their sensory experience had a direct effect on how they felt physically.
To liberate the senses and bring aesthetics back into the equation of how we design these confined strained circumstances, we may be able to create a level of calm and joy for patients. Ingrid concluded her talk with: “On the most basic level, the drive toward joy, is the drive towards life.”
The KwickScreen team who ventured out to Phoenix have come back inspired, and with a signed copy of Ingrid’s book! What we felt most prominently about Ingrid’s talk was the effect patterns, texture and colour have on people, such as the patients, staff and families.
Here at KwickScreen we manufacture flexible partitions to solve privacy and isolation issues. The products are unique in that they offer a hygienic surface suitable for all healthcare environments, with a large surface area for high quality printed imagery. Previous screens have featured landscapes, block patterns and corporate branding; to introduce images into the most intimate of healing spaces. We hope so far we have created some joyous spaces.
We were so energised by Ingrid’s speech that we felt you should at least have a taste of the stories she shared, and definitely suggest reading her book! There is a deeper look into each of her ten aesthetics of joy, as well as helpful tips to apply to your own area of design. It was a pleasure to be boosted at the beginning of the conference, and to see that there are a variety of colour, pattern or textures that cane bring joy to the most difficult of spaces!
We’ve also decided to curate a more joyful collection in our image catalogue, in honour of becoming more joyful! We hope to surprise you with it soon!
If you want to check out Ingrid’s speech, watch the video above. Or check out her TEDTalk below, for further information about The Aesthetics of Joy.
What makes for a great sporting event? The competition and level of athleticism, sure, but you can get that on TV. Attending an incredible sporting event has something else. It’s the chance to get away from your normal, everyday life and spend time with your community. If you’re a young college student, maybe it’s a date night. If you’re a family of four, the Friday night soccer game is a fun time to spend with your kids and see them aspire to be like those players on the field. For an older couple whose children have left home, maybe the season’s tickets are your new tradition.
If you are at the conference, you’ll also want to catch one of these 5 sessions focused on space planning:
Tulane Medical School is built on a rich history. Many important advances in medicine over the last century were born in Tulane, thanks to distinguished alumni and faculty members like Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, Dr. George E. Burch, Dr. Louis J. Ignarro, and more.
People do not go to a hospital because they want to—they go because they are referred for treatment. Many of them are afraid, unsure of what to expect, feel out of their comfort zone—experiencing a lack of control, and could be incredibly uncomfortable as a result of their condition. So it is vital to do whatever you can as a healthcare professional to help make their environment and the overall care package as safe, supportive, clear, and inviting as possible.
I was only eleven when I decided that a career in healthcare was for me. I really wanted to be part of the team that exists primarily to help people feel better, live better, and—where possible—to get better as well.
We aim to simulate real-life clinical situations that facilitate learning opportunities within a safe environment allowing for mistakes to be made, reflected upon and the knowledge gained to be applied to their work with real patients. Creating believable simulations is critical to the future success of these students and soon-to-be Healthcare professionals.
As an eternal optimist, I always like to say that if your child is at Boston Children's Hospital, it's definitely not a good thing—but it's also the best thing, given the circumstances. You're unlikely to find the same level of care, commitment, and quality anywhere else in the country.