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Accessibility - Equipment and Environment / The Basics

Just the Basics: Physical Environment & Equipment

A quick reference for improvements that can be made in the physical environment in the Emergency Department

Just the Basics: Physical Environment & Equipment

Here is a checklist of basic changes and enhancements that can be done with minimal expenditure or changes. The easy ones are first; the harder, more expensive ones are later

Equipment and Supplies

Easy in-department access to:

  1. Non-slip socks
  2. Four-point walkers
  3. Canes
  4. Hearing assist devices (link to Pocket Talker)
  5. Bedside commode
  6. Condom catheters
  7. Blanket warmer
  8. Pressure-ulcer mattresses
  9. Some reclineable arm chairs
  10. Low beds

Physical Environment

  1. Large face analog clocks in each room
  2. Ample seating for visitors and family (at least 2 chairs in each room)
  3. Easy access to food and drink
  4. High-quality easy-to-read signage and way-finding
  5. Raised toilet seats (removable)
  6. Wheel-chair accessible toilets
  7. Efforts at noise reduction (separate enclosed rooms, noise-deadening curtains)
  8. Non-slip floors with no pattern
  9. Adequate hand rails
  10. Access to natural light

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I am an Emergency Physician at Mount Sinai Hospital Toronto and the lead on this website project. I am also involved with the Geriatric ED Collaborative supported by the Hartford Foundation and the West Health Foundation. I am co-author on a textbook, Geriatric Emergencies: A Discussion-Based Review. Please follow me on Twitter: @Geri_EM

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