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Ambulatory Care Center Design Tool

December 2015


This Ambulatory Care Center Design Tool (ACCDT), developed by Dr. Anjali Joseph and Dr. Zahra Zamani from Clemson University in collaboration with The Center for Health Design (CHD), builds upon a series of papers, best practice case studies and in-depth literature reviews conducted by CHD as well as CHD's Clinic Design Post-Occupancy Evaluation Toolkit – Tool 2 Audit of Physical Environment with additions from a thesis by Crews (2013). The tool supports design teams in making key design decisions about ambulatory care centers linked to evidence based design goals and principles.


The tool is organized around three main spatial categories: 1. Building exterior, 2. Building interior, and 3. Community spaces. The interior space is sub-divided into two main divisions: 2.1 Spaces for patients and 2.2 Clinicians. Spaces for patients include check-in and waiting areas as well as check-out. Clinicians have separate access to staff spaces. Clinicians and patient share the a) patient-clinician interaction and b) POD spaces. Circulation is shared between all spaces.

A set of 13 design goals that are critical for the design of the ambulatory care centers have been identified based on previously conducted literature reviews and case studies that include: privacy, collaboration, access, wayfinding, communication, experienced-based care, comprehensive care, safety, security, flow, technology, sustainability, and flexibility. These goals support most models of care such as patient centered-medical home, patient-centered care, etc. However, these goals are not meant to be exhaustive.

The tool provides design features that can be prioritized based on the goals, agreements, limitations, or decisions of the design team. Designers may add new design features based on their own literature review and research/practice experience. There may be instances of trade-offs between design goals.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 INternational License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/