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Privacy Curtains

A Comprehensive Standard for Exchanging Privacy Curtains

By January 6th, 2023No Comments
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To provide a safe environment for surgical patients that are at an increased risk of infection, the “Patient Zone” (the patient’s bed, bed rails, and everything within 36″ of the bed), including privacy curtains, must be managed so they do not contribute to cross-transmission of pathogens.

A comprehensive Program for curtain exchanges should consider the following questions:

  • During outbreaks, should we exchange curtains more frequently?
  • Are we changing curtains on Isolation (ISO) Discharge?
  • How are we documenting ISO exchanges and are we able to analyze such data?
  • Are we able to validate compliance in case questioned by regulatory agencies?
  • How do we ensure that privacy curtains are free of spots and stains and immediately exchanged when they become visibly soiled?

Any privacy curtain exchanged for these reasons should be considered contaminated by those responsible for removing them. Staff should be thoroughly trained on disease transmission and preventing cross-transmission of disease from the curtain to the patient, their uniform, or to other surfaces. Managers should document such training and perform periodic competency assessments whether staff are compliant with the established policies.

Staff should wear personal protective equipment protecting them from contact with the curtain and curtains should be bagged while in the room. If a ladder is necessary to exchange the curtains, the ladder must be disinfected prior to removing it from the patient’s room. EVS should always maintain accurate records of each curtain change, documenting that their curtain change policy is being adhered to.