Old curtains won’t be hanging around much longer

It doesn’t involve high-tech equipment or the latest computer technology, but this Yale New Haven Hospital initiative will make a noticeable difference in safety, efficiency and the patient experience.

Support Services and Facilities and Design are working with a vendor to replace all curtains and hanging systems in patient rooms. The hospital is using disposable curtains during the transition, which is expected to be complete by the end of summer. The vendor will also provide ongoing service to clean, replace and stock curtains on inpatient units.

“Lack of inventory in particular has been a concern for some time,” said Dean Caruso, executive director, Support Services. “This new program will ensure Environmental Services staff always have enough stock to replace curtains in certain patient rooms when necessary.”

The hospital is replacing the current hanging system, which requires staff to use ladders or step stools to reach curtain clips. The new system will be safer and faster – eliminating the clips and reducing the time to change a curtain from about 10 minutes to one minute. The look of the curtains will also change.

“Current curtains are different styles and lengths, which might sound like a minor concern, but for patients who spend a lot of time in their rooms, privacy and aesthetics are important,” Caruso said.