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How Automatic Doors Aid Healthcare

How Automatic Doors Aid Healthcare

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Healthcare leaders well understand the importance of hygiene protocols in every aspect of operations to prevent germ spread. This was true before COVID and has only become more heightened since the pandemic. Automatic doors have always been a crucial part of the hygienic mission of healthcare facilities, eliminating crucial touchpoints for staff and the public. But there are many ways automatic doors improve health and safety inside the building.

According to the American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM), its industry is always evolving to meet the specific needs of healthcare facilities and medical environments. Here are some trends the association is tracking.

Touchless wave plates. Motion sensors are often not used for internal doorways because medical staff need stricter control over when the door opens. Wave plates require staff to place a hand near the activator and wave to make the door open, but no one needs to actually touch or press any surface. No touch means no transfer of germs from hands.

Automatic doors for critical care units (CCU) and intensive care units (ICU). Automatic doors perform a vital germ-prevention function in these environments by virtue of being touch-free. They are also easier to clean than fabric curtains. Cutting-edge doors also include electronic privacy glass. When the privacy function is not engaged, medical staff can maintain visual contact with patients.

Telescoping automatic doors. When standard sliding doors are too large and folding doors create to narrow a space, telescoping doors retract to provide a wider door opening than traditional sliding doors. This makes them an ideal choice when space is limited. In addition to hallways, some CCUs and ICUs make use of the telescoping feature for the same space-saving purpose.

Jack-and-Jill restrooms. Placed between two patient rooms and shared for space-saving reasons, using automatic doors eliminates the need for large swing paths. They can also be equipped with a mechanism to restrict access to the restroom when in use, so there’s no risk of a patient from the other room interrupting. Automatic doors are also gaining traction in common-area restrooms for their space-saving ability.

Medication rooms. Automatic doors can be tied to a facility’s keycard system so only authorized personnel can access the med room, securing supply.

Pressurized doors. The seals and mechanical operators of automatic doors work in concert with HVAC units and ducting to maintain precise pressures on either side of the door. They keep bacteria and dust from passing from one side of the doorway to another. Medical applications include isolation rooms to contain infectious diseases and rooms housing sophisticated medical equipment.

Automatic door manufacturers routinely work with healthcare facilities and their architects to create new solutions for entrance, egress, and containment. There are careful technical considerations that must be made to help make sure automatic doors perform to expectations. For more information, visit


The American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM) is a trade association of

manufacturers of automatic pedestrian door systems. AAADM was founded in 1994 with the following mission: to increase awareness of automatic doors and accessibility needs; to increase education, training and professionalism among installers and service providers; and to generally promote the safe use of automatic doors. Each year on March 19, AAADM celebrates National Automatic Door Day to raise awareness about the many benefits of automatic doors, including providing access to those with physical challenges and helping to prevent germs by eliminating the need to touch door handles.


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