Japanese Red Cross Ashikaga Hospital
Modern design to battle COVID-19
When the Ashikaga Red Cross Hospital first opened its doors in 2011, it stood out in the Japanese healthcare system because all of its rooms were private. This set-up is a rarity in Japan, where most hospitals offer shared rooms or ward beds. Nine years later, when the pandemic struck, Ashikaga Red Cross Hospital’s unique and modern design worked to its advantage in caring for COVID-19 patients.
Even before the pandemic, Ashikaga Red Cross hospital already had protocols in place to deal with infectious diseases. The hospital has an infection control zone set up on the 9th floor, equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters to protect patients and healthcare workers alike. Each of its rooms also use air-catalyzed disinfection coating (HBE), which degrades harmful substances such as viruses and volatile organic compounds.
As the pandemic loomed the hospital further enhanced its infection control capacity. It converted its auditorium to allow it to be used as an isolation facility for COVID-19 patients and set up a solar carport with infection control tents to serve as a triage area for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients. The hospital also designed new ways to protect its staff. For instance, it has introduced and used a new exhaust hood for face-to-face infection control. Other changes include the use of AI camera systems to detect the body temperatures of those visiting the hospital.