Criterion: Safe environment for the delivery of care
The environment promotes safe and high-quality health care for patients.
A variety of legislation covers building codes and workplace health and safety issues. The actions in this criterion focus on how the health service environment can support the delivery of safe and high-quality care for patients.
The health service environment, which includes all facilities, plant and equipment, needs to be fit for purpose and maintained in good working order to reduce hazards and ensure patient safety. Good design can also reduce the potential for adverse events – for example, by providing good lighting in areas where medicines are dispensed or selecting surfaces that are easy to clean and disinfect.
Having clear directions and signage can help patients find the services they need, and the use of furnishings, artwork, light, colour and sound can improve patients’ comfort and experience of care.
Spaces that are designed for flexible use can help clinicians provide the right level of engagement or stimulation for patients with mental health issues, and can assist patients with cognitive impairment by simplifying the environment to reduce unnecessary stimulation.