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EBD Journal Club: Risk Assessment as Standard Work in Design


Evidence-Based Design (EBD) Journal Clubs are free, open to all and provide one EDAC/AIA CEU. These sessions provide opportunities to interact with authors who have recently published EBD papers and articles in peer-reviewed journals such as HERD and learn as they share ways to put their research into practice. (1 Continuing Education Unit)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
10:00 - 11:00 am Pacific

Article Information:

Risk Assessment as Standard Work in Design, from Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 7(1), 114-123.

Author: Patricia W. Morrill, PMP, EDAC

Host: Sheila Bosch, PhD, LEED AP, EDAC

Objective: This case study examines a formal risk assessment as part of the decision making process for design solutions in high risk areas. The overview of the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis tool with examples of its application in hospital building projects demonstrate the benefit of those structured conversations.

Background: The article illustrates how two hospitals used FMEA when integrating operational processes with building projects: 1) adjacency decision for ICU; and 2) distance concern for handling specimens from Surgery to Lab.

Methods: Both case studies involved interviews that exposed facility solution concerns. Just-in-time studies using the FMEA followed the same risk assessment process with the same workshop facilitator involving structured conversations in analyzing risks.

Results: In both cases, participants uncovered key areas of risk enabling them to take the necessary steps. While the focus of this article is not the actual design solution, it is apparent that the risk assessment brought clarity to the situations resulting in prompt decision making about facility solutions.

Conclusions: Hospitals are inherently risky environments; therefore, use of the formal risk assessment process, FMEA, is an opportunity for design professionals to apply more rigor to design decision making when facility solutions impact operations in high risk areas.

Patricia W. Morrill, PMP, EDAC
President, PM Healthcare Consulting, LLC

Patricia Morrill has 30 years of healthcare experience spanning operations leadership, project management, process improvement, work flow and facilility assessments, and Lean facility planning.  Certifications in Project Management (PMP), Evidence-Based Design (EDAC), Lean, and Six Sigma Green Belt in combination with previous employment in a large healthcare system and an architectural firm, equip her with a full-spectrum view of the synergy between operations and space.

Ms. Morrill gained a personal perspective of preventable medical harm by caring for two family members and she has increased her efforts on spreading information about the value of risk assessments and the impact of un-coordinated care in her teaching, publications and national presentations.  She also served on the development team for The Center for Health Design’s Safety Risk Assessment Toolkit and faculty for its roll-out at the 2015 PDC Summit.

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February 17, 2016
Class Frequency:
EBD Journal Club