When it comes to providing quality healthcare, the planning, design, and construction of healthcare facilities must be considered. Poor design can contribute to infection transmission and negative health outcomes. With Canada’s aging population growing in number and healthcare continuing to represent the largest share of federal capital spending, standards are needed to effectively mitigate these risks and support improved clinical outcomes.

The CSA Z8000 standard offers a comprehensive, nationally-recognized baseline for the planning, design, and construction of hospitals and other healthcare facilities based on leading research linking better facility design to positive patient outcomes. The new edition promotes best practices in infection prevention and control (IPC) throughout all stages of planning, design, and construction to create healing environments where healthcare-associated infections are reduced and better patient outcomes are supported.

Here are 13 changes in the latest edition that you should know:

  1. Class C-1 and Class C-2 were added to the definition of “healthcare facility” to ensure that community health facilities are designed appropriately for the type of care being provided.
  2. Planning sections were updated and reorganized to better align with provincial/territorial procurement practices. These sections also include the interdisciplinary team (IDT) from the beginning of the project to provider user input into the various stages of the planning and design process.
  3. Additions were made to address the specific needs of pediatric patients and their families, including a new clause on pediatric operating rooms and revisions to area requirements for treatment spaces and lounges.
  4. New requirements for dimensions and clearances were added for bariatric inpatient rooms, examination rooms, washrooms, and other accessible spaces.
  5. A new clause on space planning, design objectives, and functional programming was introduced to support long-term care facilities in providing a higher quality of life to the people who live there.
  6. IPC requirements were updated to reflect advances in science, technology, and clinical practices. This includes new requirements for the location and accessibility of hand hygiene sinks, airborne isolation rooms and anterooms, minimum distances between inpatient and critical care beds, and materials for surfaces and finishes.
  7. Clauses addressing risk assessment and catastrophic event planning were expanded to consider the number of airborne isolation rooms required during pandemics or external catastrophic events, and to help maintain the safety and security of building occupants in emergency situations.
  8. Occupational health & safety, patient safety, and accessibility provisions were revised to consider functional space for patient transfer, staff access needs to equipment and supplies, ergonomic principles for workstations and storage spaces, and security systems for patient wandering and staff locating.
  9. The wayfinding section was modified to align with the new CSA Z317.14 standard, including signage and directions, creation of landmarks, and suitable lighting for entrances, site access, and circulation routes.
  10. Ambulatory care and procedures sections were reorganized to provide clear guidance and requirements for low-acuity community health facilities that have high-risk procedures taking place in them. Revisions were made to three risk categories (Category I, II, and III) to address the potential risk associated with different services and ensure that these facilities can operate safely in these environments.
  11. Architectural requirements were updated to accommodate newer building designs, technologies, and construction practices. This includes the construction of ceilings, door width, and floor material requirements.
  12. Updates to the medical device reprocessing and medical laboratories section were made to align with planning requirements in CAN/CSA-Z314-18 for different services within the department and space separation requirements for reprocessing areas.
  13. New and revised material was introduced on technology integration to reflect the increasing reliance on mobile communications, electronic patient records, robotics, and building management systems – with requirements for integration and compatibility throughout the facility.

Read the complete white paper, “Health and Safety by Design,” to learn more about the impact of design on patient outcomes and the evolution of the standard.

CSA Z8000-18 is available online at the CSA Store.