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Design Interventions to Support Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) in Long Term Care (LTC) Shared Work Environments.

Project status
Chantal Trudel
Institution web page
Host institution
Carleton University
Team members
Chantal Trudel, Amy Hsu, Kednapa Thavorn, Melissa Donskov, Steven Crawford, Carol Dueck, Lee Ann Welsh, Susan Braedley, Adrian Chan, Dennis Kao, Frank Knoefel, Zsofia Orosz, Heidi Sveistrup, Raymond Bruce Wallace.
Funding information (if funded)
This project was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Project Summary

Infection prevention and control protocols (IPAC) focused on mitigating the risks of staff-to-staff pathogen transmission may be difficult to achieve in Long Term Care (LTC) homes due to the nature of shared work areas. Common design characteristics include centralized, compact and potentially crowded work/break areasresidential design details which may be challenging to clean and disinfect, coupled with the dynamic traffic flow of health professionals, other workersresidents and family. Using human centred design process, we aim to support the resiliency of LTC homes by studying: how the design of staff work areas and associated patterns of use may be undermining IPAC; short and long term design interventions that may help reduce transmission risks; and the cost-effectiveness of our proposed design interventions. Through evidence-based design we hope to contribute to current pandemic efforts and inform the future design of LTC homes to support safer work conditions. 

Outputs / Expected Outputs

Through this work, we will: 

  • identify key staff demographics (job role, gender, age, ethnicity)the nature of their job design, how job design is associated to using shared work spaces, potential overlaps with other staff members, as well as use of other shared respite (break areas) or interstitial areas (entrances, exits, elevators); 
  • identify potential latent sources of staff exposure to COVID-19 in shared workspaces due to crowding, scheduling of staff cohorts using such spaces, and cross-traffic flows between staff cohorts; 
  • visualize through drawings and diagrams real world examples of the current state of activity occurring in shared work spaces; 
  • create models for alternative staffing areas and processes to mitigate risks associated with risk factors such as crowding, cross-traffic, cohorting, scheduling and PPE use; 
  • create designs of new work areas with long term care workers to support more achievable adaptive behavioural measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission and other respiratory infectious outbreaks; 
  • support insight across disciplines on the intricacies involved in working safely in shared work areas to support evidence-based design and informed decision-making in future renovations and new builds in LTC; and 
  • create a design guideline/tool which may help inform short-term and long-term design interventions for the LTC community.  
Project website


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Design Interventions to Support Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) in Long Term Care (LTC) Shared Work Environments.