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WHO and Odulair, 2 Interpretations of Redesigning Ebola Treatment Care Settings

The WHO redesign and Odulair's "Mobile Multi-Tier Isol. Unit" offer visual insights on understanding the various touch points that inform the structure of care settings and how they affect empowering and protecting both healthworkers and patients

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Written by DeletedUser

What these are helpuful for is visualizing the various "touchpoints" within these environments, which are important to understand as they inform the structure, efficiency or inefficiency of supply/demand of facilitiy tools/equipment and also, impacts on patients' and workers' care experience and journey of the service facilities -- important insights to take into consideration when redesigning for actionable solutions to strengthen the care settings of these treatment environments. It also seems beneficial to recognize the range in which care settings tend to differ

Reference to a current state of an care setting environment in Guinea, West Africa via Telegraph (the graph isn't available to download or an img address to upload in this contribution but the link provides a full scale)
This can be helpful in distinguishing differences and comparisons of improvement between all the exhibited examples

The WHO Redesign
Diagram A: Flash Interactive via WSJ
Ebola Treatment Unit, the WHO Redesign

Diagram B: Semi "Bird's Eye View" via The Washington Post (Full scale is immediately viewable in the link)

The 10 Ebola treatment centers in West Africa are based on a design of three wards, which help separate patients suspected of having the disease from those with a confirmed diagnosis. Because there are not nearly enough such treatment centers, Liberia and the World Health Organization plan to set up much scaled-down versions, called community care centers, which will provide only rudimentary care

Odulair's â€‹Mobile Multi-tier Portable Ebola Patient Isolation Unit with Mobile Ebola Lab
  • Can be utilized in conjunction with an existing hospital. Or, used to establish a complete, self-contained Ebola treatment and management center in any environment
  • Includes its own power generation system and a waste management system meeting the requirements to inactivate the highly contagious Ebola virus
  • The complete facility can be shipped airfreight and be fully operational in less than one month

The complete facility includes a scalable number of patient treatment tents, containing multiple individual patient isolation rooms. Both the outer patient treatment tent and the inner patient isolation rooms are always under respectively increasing levels of negative pressurization to prevent the spread of the virus from one patient’s room to another; and to prevent the spread of the virus from the individual patient isolation rooms into the outer patient treatment tent. All air from the patient isolation treatment tents is processed through a HEPA Type A filtration system removing 99.99% of microscopic particles 0.3 microns in size and a germicidal UV lamp to irradiate and kill dangerous pathogens.
The facility also includes a medical staff work tent that is positively pressurized to maintain a safe environment for medical teams by preventing the entry of the Ebola virus into the tent

  • gross decontamination facility for removing surface contaminants from new Ebola patients and disinfecting hazmat suits after medical teams make contact with patients
  • technical decontamination facility to achieve a thorough cleansing and removal of contaminants from both the medical staff and their equipment

Current Key Conclusions (Expecting this will evolve as our research, discussions and questions further develop)
These mainly seem structurally, with most of the insights of the key touchpoints identifying the "functional" role of the patient's and worker's care journey through these environments.  It may impact more deeper insights if we can accomodate these with first-person accounts (interviews, videos or any sources) that provide understanding to the psychological aspects and presssures of the patients or workers experience or go through within these structural care settings (emotional and mental states of stress, fear, anxiety, mourning, etc.,)

Secondly, this resources can provide a architectural context in which to bridge connections and deepen the directions/applications inspired through the following reserach from which this post builds upon:


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"that inform the structure of care settings" - Very cool, but you gotta wonder how that relates to the tornado of disaster ongoing there.

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Hi Chris,

Great, your post signaled for me the lack of clarity to the necessity of addressing the "touch points that inform the structure of care settings," which was in context to building upon the four research posts in the conclusion. Building on your response, to offer some clarification, rather than being a "hey look, this might be cool" around literal aspects informing the structure of care settings, these are the more prioritized intentions that I had in mind:

1. In my thought process, if we're going to redesign a service such as Ebola care settings, to ground a context in which to further refine prototyping theories, it's useful to understand how those environments are currently designed. One reason how I see that: by understanding the structural elements (that affect touch points, flow of supply and demand, utility of segregated spaces, how "users" or "occupants" engage throughout all those elements) throughout the current infrastructure, then you have better references of understanding where to narrow the directions and connections of critiques. So, what in those areas would any one of our theories (e.g., 3D Printing Care Facilities versus Refrigerated Shipping Container Redesign for an Isolation Unit) might be more applicable and effective towards?

For example: Will the current infrastructure of these care settings allow any one of these options be applicable? What might resolve those potential limitations? And, how can I further refine, let's say, the idea for a refrig. shipping container to better suit the environmental limitations of these care settings? Is it too bulky? Is it to invasive to these environments? Are they easily transportable to these environments? Will that require more resources that care settings may not have the bandwidth for? Or, what equipment or "ward" sections could be more relevant for 3D printing to make more rapidly deployable?

Lastly, the use of other interpretations taking place, provide a reference to how other organizations are interpreting the inefficiencies of the current environments of Ebola care facilities, which serve as helpful guidelines for people to visualize an inspiring range of how design was used to confront such urgencies

2. "Touchpoints," is also a key term here, describing "the interface of a service with users, non-users, employees and other stakeholders before, during and after a transaction." These plans' touch points represented a more "functional" role of the users ("occupants"). It speaks to an unmet need: how the urgency of sterilization overprioritized throughout the infrastructure of care settings have unintentionally but consequentially dehumanized the engagement of care procedures for those suffering, at risk or providing service to Ebola. And, which can be a jumping point for a thought process that might go like: In considering touch points throughout these infrastructures, how do the variances in the care/treatment service in a "low-probability" ward to "high-probability" ward to "contaminated" ward alter or impact users' emotional to psychological experiences? With our collective cross-sector expertises, having usable references of these care settings and infrastructures, how can we rectify these infrastructures in a way that infiltrate more empathetic environments as much as effective sterilization and care procedures?

But, one other thing your response makes me think of, is that you share a good insight in response to Jaime's added on Q's, "How might we begin to build on this in the ideas phase? Is there a specific piece of the research that might be especially relevant or urgent that our community can tackle right away?"
Meaning, if anyone finds use in this to build on into the Ideas phase, one relevant and urgent issue you've identified that can be tackled right away: care settings are at a high risk of attacks

So, by utilizing this knowledge of the currents environments and available redesign options from the WHO and Odulair, where in these plans can we improve (or, innovate with more effective solutions) to increase security for healthworkers and patients from these attacks -- attacks that endanger not only healthworkers/patients' safety but also threaten the insecure resources, supplies and equipment that these care setting environments are already struggling with to fight Ebola.

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