News Feature | March 23, 2017

Overhead Utility Systems In Intensive Care Units Provide Substantial Benefits

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Healthcare Vertical Promises Big Growth For Beacons Through 2019

White paper shows how changes to layout can improve operational flow and patient outcomes.

Ceiling mounted beam solutions can provide benefits over traditional headwall systems in ICU rooms, boosting operational flow and patient outcomes according to a SimTigrate Design Lab of Georgia Tech white paper.

Comparison of Overhead Utility Systems for Intensive Care Rooms provides insight into the most pressing questions for clinicians facing a decision about the delivery of utilities and gases in an ICU environment. The findings are crucial to hospitals investing in construction and design projects, as it proves the adoption of today’s new tech can help yield long-term financial returns, create a better operational flow and workspace for staff, and improve overall patient care and satisfaction levels.

​​The goal of the study was to better understand how medical teams evaluate architectural solutions to medical gas delivery as well as to compare user experiences with different overhead utilities in the ICU.

As the study points out, “As more and more care is being provided at the bedside of intensive care patients, hospitals have replicated overhead service delivery solutions from the operating room to realize the same advantages of improved access to the head of the bed. In general, this is a rational approach and results in a room that better supports patient care. Yet it is important to keep in mind that ICU rooms do not function exactly like operating rooms and therefore may have different needs.”

The study found ceiling mounted solutions for delivery of utilities are superior to the traditional headwall, and moving equipment off the wall and onto the ceiling declutters the head of bed and floor space, providing unobstructed access to the patient’s head in critical care situations.