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Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of four different design communication media in helping clinical end users understand spatial and functional information and in supporting their ability to provide design feedback.
Background: It is critical to involve clinical end users early in the design process to test design solutions and ensure the design of a new healthcare facility supports their ability to deliver high-quality care. Traditional architectural design communication media such as floor plans and perspectives can be challenging for clinical design team members to understand. Physical and virtual mock-ups are becoming more popular as design communication media. However, nominal evidence exists comparing the effectiveness of different design media in supporting clinical end-user engagement and contribution during the design process.
Method: An exploratory, qualitative study was conducted with clinical end users to evaluate the effectiveness of four different media commonly used in design communication.
Results: Traditional architectural representations convey limited useful information to clinical end users, impacting the amount and type of feedback they can provide. More immersive media, such as physical and virtual mock-ups, support an increasingly holistic understanding of proposed design solutions, inciting more design solutions that range from the inclusion and exclusion of design features to location, position, and functionality of those features.
Conclusions: When used in combination, each media can contribute to eliciting clinical end-user feedback at varying scales. The overall preference and higher effectiveness in eliciting design feedback from clinical end users highlights the importance of physical mock-up in communicating healthcare design solutions.
Deborah Wingler, PhD, MDS-HHE, EDAC
Research Assistant Professor
Center for Health Facilities Design and Testing at Clemson University
Deborah Wingler is a Research Assistant Professor with the Center for Health Facilities Design and Testing at Clemson University and the President of Healing Design Integration, LLC Deborah’s research focuses on improving the patient and staff experience within the ambulatory care environment. Her research utilizes real-time data collection techniques to elicit insight into patient and staff physiological, psychological and neural responses to high stress healthcare environments. Her research interests also include bringing high-quality care to vulnerable populations and medically underserved communities within the United States and internationally. She holds a Master of Science and Design in Healthcare and Healing Environments from Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Northern Arizona University.
Herminia Machry, BArch, MScArch
PhD Candidate | Graduate Research Assistant
Clemson University - School of Architecture
Herminia Machry is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Healthcare Facilities Design and Testing (CHFDT) at Clemson University, where she is also a Doctoral Candidate in the Planning, Design and the Built Environment (PDBE) program. Herminia holds a Bachelor degree in Architecture and Urban Planning (UFSC, 2004, Brazil) and a Master of Science degree in Architecture (USP, 2010, Brazil), having experience as a design practitioner on several healthcare facility projects and as a professor in architecture and healthcare hospitality/management undergraduate courses. Herminia’s research focuses on investigating how design supports tasks and social interactions in healthcare settings, mostly using in-depth observations and interviews. Her research interests also include the application of evidence based design processes in healthcare design, and understanding how design can better support family engagement in healthcare environments.