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Fast in-ward patient isolation

ID5: Distribute the Product

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Executive Summary

KwickScreen is the world's most portable retractable screen or room divider. The screens are 2m high, can be pulled out to anything up to 3.5m wide, and retract back into a compact vertical compartment.

Quick Detail

Innovation Owner:
Michael Korn
Development stage:
ID5: Distribute the Product

Project Detail

In autumn 2007, the HCAI Technology Innovation Programme’s ‘Smart Ideas’ process brought together over 500 NHS front line staff and professionals, who then generated around 150 ideas to help combat HCAIs. Some of these ideas were based around mobile screens to bring isolation to patients in a ward. Through its network the NHS National Innovation Centre introduced Michael Korn to the programme as he had developed a retractable screen, the KwickScreen, for this purpose.

There is an ongoing need for more isolation facilities across the whole of the NHS given the shortage of siderooms at some times in the year. It has been estimated that there is a shortfall of around 37,000 rooms.  The majority of infected patients however do not need to be isolated in a separate room.  If there is no risk of an infection being transmitted via airborne particulates, the infected patient can remain in the ward as long as traffic between bedspaces is eliminated and hand hygiene compliance adhered to. 

Also, on a broader scale, recent research has shown that hospital space needs to become much more flexible if it is to keep pace with treatment and technology developments and requirements. In a recent MIT paper, Professor Richard de Neufville highlights the problems with hospitals infrastructure projects that are designed to last for around 40 years, whereas the uses and demands will change significantly over this period.

KwickScreen represents part of a solution to allow hospital infrastructure to be quickly reconfigured as demands change.

Key Facts


  • Patient experience
  • Operational costs

Healthcare Areas

Health Problems

  • Infectious Diseases


  • Domestic