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John Radcliffe Hospital lays down eye catching flooring to help patient safety

MacDermid Autotype : 12 September, 2008  (Application Story)
An innovative floor graphics system from MacDermid Autotype is enabling patients and visitors at the new eye unit at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to find their way around easily and safely.
The FootPrint system is able to guide even those with seriously impaired vision to the correct department, overcoming the signposting difficulties common in large hospitals.

Graham Dilleigh, managing director at CIS Contracts, the company chosen to create and install the new system, described the problems that needed to be avoided when designing the new unit, “In any hospital department, and especially an eye unit, it is essential that patients can find their way around easily, with minimum stress and confusion. If patients get lost, it places an incredible strain on staff as well as the visitors themselves, with time taken up trying to find them, resulting in delayed schedules and missed targets. When the new unit was being designed, we knew we had to overcome the problem safely and effectively.”

The company offered John Radcliffe hospital a system of colour-coded tracks that would lead from waiting areas to each department in the unit. The design would be both clearly visible to patients and simple to follow, decreasing the time it takes patients to find their way around and increasing efficiency at the unit.

Essential to the success of this system were the properties of the film used in the floor graphics, which is why CIS chose MacDermid Autotype’s Footprint system, already proven to be an effective floor graphic solution in another of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals.

The FootPrint system is a hard coated optical film, which can be reverse printed with high definition graphics and mounted to the floor. The film’s innovative non-slip, scratch-resistant properties were specifically developed to enable graphics to be placed on floors where a particularly high footfall is expected, such as in hospitals. Combined with excellent resistance to wear and cleaning, the material’s high degree of transparency enables floor graphics to maintain both colour and clarity over extended periods, minimising costs and ensuring maximum effect.

The Footprint system at the eye unit is further enhanced by anti-microbial technology, which inhibits the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, mould and mildew, including MRSA. The antimicrobial technology is incorporated into the hardcoat surface layer during the manufacturing process, ensuring an even distribution of the active agent so that it lasts for the lifetime of the graphic.

By reverse-printing the colourful track designs on the Footprint film, using standard screen and inkjet techniques, CIS was able to achieve high quality colour rendition and image definition to maximise the effectiveness of the system.

Graham Dilleigh commented, “The bold colour-coded tracks that were created with the FootPrint system are making it easy for patients to find their way around, even with serious sight problems, and the non-slip surface of the tracks means that they can do so safely. Despite regular cleaning, essential in the hospital environment, and the wear and tear of regular use, the graphics look as good today as the day they were laid.”
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