Hospital Design's Impact on Staff and Patient Outcomes: An Evidence-Based Design Journey

Monday, 30 July 2012

LTC MeLisa Gantt, RN, PhD, CNOR, RNFA
Department of Research Programs, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, VA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to explain the concept of "evidence-based design".

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to explain the steps involved in planning, implementing and evaluating a large scale multi-site evidence-based design project.

BACKGROUND: Hospital design, whether it is in a large city or small remote village, can greatly impact staff and patient outcomes.  Paying careful attention to the type of building materials used, the use of natural light and certain colors, the width of doorways and architectural placement of services, to name a few, can positively or negatively impact the safety and quality of patient care.  In 2011, Noblis, Inc., the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Architecture, and five hospitals (four military and one civilian) conducted a series of evidence-based design (EBD) projects, known as the “Healthcare Environments - Baseline Assessment for Safety and Quality (HE-BASQ)”, to assess these claims.

PURPOSE: The purpose of these EBD projects was to capture relevant measures that would later serve as baseline measures to evaluate the impact of new EBD military hospitals.  These EBD projects also served as a feasibility assessment to identify the potential administrative and logistical pitfalls that could occur when conducting the subsequent EDB projects. This poster provides an overview of the process to conduct such large scale multi-site EBD projects.

METHOD: Using Rosalyn Cama’s “4-Step Evidence-Based Design Methodology” as a guide, these EBD projects assessed various hospital designs’ impact on several outcome measures: 1) noise level, 2) staff injuries due to patient handling, and 3) patient transport processes. 

RESULTS:  Data was collected in five phases: 1) descriptive analysis of environmental assessments, 2) quantitative and qualitative analyses of noise levels, 3) descriptive analysis of staff injuries, 4) retrospective review of patient transport processes, and 5) correlational analyses between the environmental assessments and the data obtained from the noise level, staff injuries, and patient transport analyses.

CONCLUSION: Multi-site EBD projects require the tight collaboration, proper planning, consistent implementation, and thorough evaluation very similar to the conduct of multi-site clinical trial research.