Assessing an innovative temporary isolation room: A functional and infection control assessment

Prof. Brett Mitchell1, Professor Anthony Williams3, Ms Zorana Wong1

1Faculty of Arts, Nursing and Theology. Avondale College Of Higher Education, Wahroonga, Australia,

2School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University, , Australia,

3Avondale College, Cooranbong , Australia

Background:  Challenges with limited single rooms, have created an opportunity for temporary, portable isolation technology. This paper describes the process used to evaluate a new isolation room (RediRoomTM) that can be installed in existing hospital ward areas. Our aim was to independently assess the functionality and infection control implications of this new room, in so doing, evaluate the approach used.

Methods: Using a crossover interventional study, a mixed methods approach involving direct observation, video recording, interviews using a descriptive phenomenological approach and individual questionnaires were used. Thirteen participants were randomly assigned to the RediRoomTM or a control room and required to completed a range fourteen different clinical (nursing) activities.  A technical infection control assessment was undertaken using existing tools from the United Kingdom and Australia.

Results: The use of social network analysis from video recordings enabled objective comparisons of clinician movement within the rooms and the time taken to undertake procedures. The movement and time taken to complete a range of clinical activities in both rooms was broadly consistent. The use of interviews and surveys enabled validation of video recording observation. A form of reflexive ethnography with participants and for researchers could be of value in similar studies.

Conclusion: Our study attempted to simulate a clinical environment and clinical activities, to evaluate new isolation technologies. The multifaceted approach was largely successful, with our experience providing valuable lessons for others wishing to evaluate new technologies. We propose refinements to existing guidelines that are used to evaluate isolation rooms.


Professor Brett Mitchell is a Professor of Nursing and Director of the Lifestyle Research Centre at Avondale College. He holds a honorary position at Griffith University and is the Editor-in-Chief of Infection, Disease and Health. Brett has over 100 peer reviewed journal and conference presentations. He is the Chair of an NHMRC committee revising the national infection control guidelines.

About the College

The ACIPC is the peak body for Infection Prevention and Control professionals in the Australasian region. Our stated vision is the prevention and control of infection in our communities. We commenced in January 2012 bringing together the various State and Territory infection control associations formerly in AICA (The Australian Infection Control Association) to support and encourage collaboration across Australasia.

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