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Research Corner: Ask the Author - The Impact of Visibility on Teamwork, Collaborative Communication, and Security in Emergency Departments: An Exploratory Study

When: February 6, 2019
Time: 11:00am Pacific
Price: $65 Individual View/$150 Group View

1 unit EDAC continuing education
1 unit AIA continuing education

CEU forms available for download during webinar*


This Research Corner is free to our Affiliate+ members.


The aim of this study was to examine the influence of visibility on teamwork, collaborative communication, and security issues in emergency departments (EDs). This research explored whether with high visibility in EDs, teamwork and collaborative communication can be improved while the security issues will be reduced. Visibility has been regarded as a critical design consideration and can be directly and considerably impacted by ED’s physical design. Teamwork is one of the major related operational outcomes of visibility and involves nurses, support staff, and physicians. The collaborative communication in an ED is another important factor in the process of care delivery and affects efficiency and safety. Furthermore, security is a behavioral factor in ED designs, which includes all types of safety including staff safety, patient safety, and the safety of visitors and family members. This qualitative study investigated the impact of visibility on teamwork, collaborative communication, and security issues in the ED. One-on-one interviews and on-site observation sessions were conducted in a community hospital. Corresponding data analysis was implemented by using computer plan analysis, observation and interview content, and theme analyses. The findings of this exploratory study provided a framework to identify visibility as an influential factor in ED design. High levels of visibility impact productivity and efficiency of teamwork and communication and improve the chance of lowering security issues. The findings of this study also contribute to the general body of knowledge about the effect of physical design on teamwork, collaborative communication, and security.


Presenting Faculty

Arsalan Gharaveis, Ph.D., MARC, ASSOCI. AIA, EDAC
Assistant Professor of Interior Design
Southeast Missouri State University

Arsalan Gharaveis, Ph.D., Assoc. AIA, IIA, MARC, EDAC is an architect, interior designer, researcher, and educator. Gharaveis has more than a decade of experience in design and conducting research regarding the impact of environment on behavior in both the United States and Middle Eastern countries. Gharaveis has won recognition for his design and creative work on different projects including AIA Houston for designing the expansion of the University of Texas Medical Center in Austin and Junior Architects Award for Ahwaz library. Also, Gharaveis artwork has been exhibited at Texas A&M’s Wirght Gallery, and Southeast Missouri University. Gharaveis has conducted consultations for various firms in the United States including HKS and EYP, and Ecroth Planning.

After years of experience in designing and planning different healthcare facilities as a registered architect and interior designer, he started doing research in the area of evidence-based design. Gharaveis work brings together the possibilities of cutting-edge layout design with considerations of human behavior and environmental psychology. His academic research has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals including Applied Ergonomics, Environment and Behavior, Indoor and Built Environment, Health Environments Research and Design, and Facilities. Also, Gharaveis has presented widely at different conferences on topics including visibility exploration, spaces syntax, safety, wayfinding, lighting, and environmental psychology in different healthcare and higher education facilities. He has been invited as a speaker at different institutions across the globe. In the last few years, Gharaveis has concentrated his research and creative work on exploration of layout design in different facilities and its impact on occupants’ behavior. Gharaveis joined Southeast Missouri State University in August 2017 as an assistant professor.



D. Kirk Hamilton, PhD, FAIA, FACHA, EDAC
Julie & Craig Beale Endowed Professor of Health Facility Design
Center for Health Systems & Design at Texas A&M University

Kirk is the Julie & Craig Beale Endowed Professor of Health Facility Design at Texas A&M University where he has taught healthcare design at the graduate level since 2004. His academic research is about the relationship of evidence-based health facility design to measurable organizational performance. His five-year professional Bachelor of Architecture is from the University of Texas in Austin. His Master’s Degree in Organization Development is from Pepperdine University, and he completed a PhD in Nursing & Healthcare Innovation at Arizona State University, studying nurse movement patterns and interaction with objects in the ICU patient room.
A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, he is board certified by the American College of Healthcare Architects with 30 years of active practice prior to joining Texas A&M. He is only the second architect advanced to Fellowship in the American College of Critical Care Medicine. He is a founding principal emeritus of Houston’s WHR Architects (now EYP Health) with healthcare projects in 20 states and eight other countries. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from ACHA and the ChangeMaker Award from The Center for Health Design.

Kirk is also a founding co-editor of the peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary Health Environments Research & Design Journal(HERD) now in its 12th year.