The Two Biggest Ligature-Resistant Retrofit and Construction Challenges Every Healthcare Provider Needs to Know

by JRSBlogWriterMay 13, 2019

Understanding the challenges healthcare facilities face when undertaking a retrofit or new construction project in order to comply with the Joint Commission and other regulatory agencies will help ensure a successful project by avoiding costly mistakes.

Challenge #1: Healthcare Facilities Often Aren’t Sure What Ligature-Resistant Bathroom Products They Need

Before and After Ligature-Resistant Bathroom Retrofit75% of suicides occur in the patient’s bathroom, bedroom, or closet. In your typical restroom, there are about 14 different ligature points. That number surprises a lot of people. The first step is to familiarize yourself with all the potential hazards, then make a plan to either eliminate the danger altogether or replace the dangerous fixture with a quality ligature-resistant option.

Once you know what needs to be eliminated or replaced, educate yourself on how to identify quality ligature-resistant products.

  • Safety and Security: Ligature-resistant fixtures and accessories are designed to eliminate ligature points, meaning they typically have rounded or sloped edges so as not to provide an anchor point for a noose or other strangulation device.
  • Aesthetics: At-risk patients often feel they carry a stigma everywhere they go. Putting them in a room that makes them feel like a prisoner doesn’t help the healing process. You should seek out products that look like something you might find in your home or a hotel room.
  • Durability and Sustainability: You need products that can withstand hard use. Did you know that porcelain toilets and sinks can easily be broken, creating ligature points, sharp edges, and potentially lethal weapons? Powder coated stainless steel and solid surface materials give you the durability you need without sacrificing the aesthetics you want.
  • Meets Code: Make sure the product you select meets all codes in place for general or acute care hospitals, which also apply to behavioral healthcare facilities and are designed to ADA and bariatric standards when they apply.

Our BestCare ligature-resistant fixtures and accessories have you covered on all the points above.

Challenge #2: Calculate the Real Cost of Ligature-Resistant Bathroom Fixtures and Accessories

As we mentioned above, there are typically 14 ligature points in the bathroom alone. Cost and functionality are always a top consideration when recommending or purchasing products, but they are not the only factors you have to consider. Initial savings may end up costing your facility money in time and labor both during installation and down the road.

Installation Costs

Whether it’s a retrofit or new construction, Installation time impacts both your ability to deliver quality care and its revenue stream. To help get those rooms open faster, we made certain BestCare products are easy to install.

Maintenance Costs

When your facilities’ maintenance team has to replace or dismantle the entire fixture to make repairs, patients have to be moved out of their room for a whole day or longer. An empty room has costs associated with it beyond the price of a new fixture. You want to avoid these extra costs.

BestCare Stainless Steel Ligature-Resistant Toilet

  • Choose Products Made with Low-Maintenance Materials: Porcelain toilets are the most replaced item in healthcare facilities. That makes sense considering vitreous china will only hold about 300 pounds. Stainless steel, on the other hand, will hold over 1,000 pounds.

    Stainless steel doesn’t just hold up to extra weight; it’s virtually indestructible and will thwart any destructive attempts. As mentioned above, you don't have to worry about sacrificing design for function because stainless steel fixtures can be powder coated to match just about any design requirements.
  • Choose Products Manufactured for Ease of Maintenance: Occasional maintenance and common repairs should not require a maintenance crew to dismantle fixtures completely. Choose fixtures that come with access panels and trap enclosures that don’t need special tools to open. The maintenance crew should be able to get in and out in a matter of minutes, not hours.

    The location of the panels and enclosures is also essential. Those access panels don’t do a facility maintenance team much good if they are located in awkward or hard to reach locations. Situations like this add higher labor costs to even the simplest of repairs or upkeep procedures.

For more information about our BestCare line of ligature-resistant products and more information about how you can overcome these challenges, download our Best Care product brochure, or visit BestCare on our website.

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