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Men, Women & Exam Room Design: How Differing Perceptions Impact the Patient Experience

When: March 18, 2024
Time: 4:00pm Pacific
Where: PDC Summit, San Diego, California United States


The Center for Health Design has joined with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) as a strategic educational collaborator and Supporting Organization for the annual PDC Summit.

At this year’s Summit The Center will produce and present a pre-conference evidence-based design workshop and a 12-session educational track – Research, Design and Outcomes – featuring recent work from The Center’s research team; Aging, Behavioral Health, Pediatric and Built Environment Networks; the HERD Journal, AAHID and other familiar and new healthcare design industry leaders. 

You’ll find these sessions here on the PDC Summit website – click on the Category drop-down menu and select The Center for Health Design Sessions.


We’ve probably all heard about bias in medicine, but is bias influenced by our designs? We know quite a bit about exam room design, but what if men and women perceive the design of health care settings differently? 

In this session, the presenters will share the results of a first-of-its-kind study that explored men’s and women’s unique perceptions of exam rooms. Using an online photo survey, The Center for Health Design’s research team collected data from more than 300 respondents. Data included:

  • Which exam room respondents would choose when given a hypothetical scenario of facing a visit related to some heart concerns; 
  • Perceptions about spatial aspects of the room; 
  • How the room might influence communication; 
  • What objects or features might make someone more relaxed or anxious; and, 
  • What rooms were most attractive. 

Statistical analysis was then conducted to establish whether differences exist. Come to hear the results of this groundbreaking study! 










Exclusive Offer for All Affiliate Members

All Center for Health Design Affiliate members receive a $200 discount on 2024 PDC Summit registration. Contact us for discount code and more information.


Learning Objectives

  • Explain the issues of bias that have been documented in primary care. 
  • Describe the underlying research to support current exam room design. 
  • Compare the room choices of men and women. 
  • Summarize the areas where men and women differ in their perceptions of exam rooms. 


Presenting Faculty

Ellen Taylor, PhD, AIA, MBA, EDAC

Vice President for Research
The Center for Health Design




Addie Abushousheh, PhD, Assoc. AIA, EDAC

Research Associate
The Center for Health Design




Yolanda Keys, PhD, DHA, RN, NEA-BC, EDAC

Research Associate
The Center for Health Design