Considerations when specifying doors for veterinary facilities
Veterinary and animal care facilities face the same hygiene concerns and demands as human health care facilities, plus they have the added challenges of managing different animal species, zoonotic pathogen threats and odour control. Infection control ranks high on the list of priorities, as does overall patient comfort, both of which can significantly influence treatment outcomes.
With such stringent requirements, facilities need hygienic interior ﬁnishes with proven long-term durability that can also withstand rigorous and frequent cleaning requirements. Doors are one of the most critical elements, because they are subject to constant use.
Every veterinary clinic, hospital, ofﬁce, and shelter is different, and the broad spectrum of animal size and combination practices, result to having different requirements in terms of interior ﬁnishes. And while some locations offer surgical or specialty services, others focus on general veterinary practice and initial patient exams. Below are some key performance requirements to consider, when specifying access solutions and other interior finishes.
Hygiene and infection control
Hygiene and controlling the spread of infectious diseases are major concerns for veterinary practices. Door solutions with the best hygienic properties which are impervious and easy to clean should always be specified. Doors with joints and seams (common in timber and encapsulated doors) should always be avoided as these can harbour harmful bacteria and germs. The in-organic construction and water repellency of doors constructed from hygienic GRP are the ultimate solution because they provide no sustenance for harmful micro-organisms.
Cleanability and chemical resistance
Veterinary examination and treatment rooms, as well as surgical suites and animal housing, are frequently cleaned with harsh disinfectants. Doors should have non porous, smooth hygienic surfaces which are easy to clean. They also need to be resistant to most disinfectants, urine, animal waste and strong chemicals including H2O2.
Impact resistance and durability
Doors in veterinary surgeries are subject to high amounts of traffic and exposure to hazardous chemicals on a daily basis. Selecting the right doors solutions can help save time and money over the longer term. Hygienic GRP doors are exceptionally lightweight, impact resistant with long lasting built in colour. This gives them low life cycle costs and means they are often proven to outlive their usage.
Doors in veterinary facilities are exposed to frequent wash down routines (even jet washing). To prevent damage only doors which are completely water resistant should be specified. Hygienic GRP doors have an inorganic surface and core which is completely water resistant and does not warp, rust or rot when exposed to moisture.
Lead lining and fire protection
Fire doors are one of the most critical elements of fire protection in a building. They are an important part of compartmentation which helps to slow down the spread of fire and smoke and allow patients and staff to either escape the building by keeping escape routes clear of smoke and fire, or wait for rescue. Doors with fire ratings should be considered for all treatment and animal holding rooms. The selection and installation of fire doors which are fire tested and proven compliant by a third party approved organisation is essential. Doors with lead lining should also be specified for imaging and x-ray areas.