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New Parkland Hospital, Dallas, TX

February 2019
EDAC Advocate Firm Project
New Parkland Hospital Exterior, Assassi Productions, 2014



EBD Goal

The design vision statement expressed that the new Parkland Hospital be a safe, welcoming, patient-centered healing environment that serves as a sustainable community resource for Dallas County. It would promote excellence in clinical care, teaching, and research in a technologically advanced, easily accessible environment.


The design vision was that the new Parkland Hospital be a safe, welcoming, patient-centered healing environment promoting excellence in clinical care, teaching, and research. With the incorporation of the latest evidence-based design principles and its strong reputation for patient care, the new Parkland Hospital project presented an important opportunity for design research.


The integrated project approach implemented at Parkland Hospital included bringing all design and construction partners together early in the process. Among the elements that made the Parkland project so exceptional was not only the nature of the multi-firm highly collaborative, co-located project team itself, but also the relationships fostered with key constituents—both within the hospital and the community—and the covenant made to guide the entire project.

As multiple firms had worked on aspects of the facility, it became necessary to create an inclusive and collaborative team, along with Parkland leaders, to evaluate impacts of the new facility in a credible way.

Cultivation of firm-level engagement, hospital leadership engagement, and individual commitment were essential to the success of the effort.


In the spirit of Parkland Hospital’s role as a “living laboratory,” a multifirm New Parkland Hospital Research Coalition was created and has successfully collaborated with Parkland leaders to evaluate impacts of the new facility on important patient and staff outcomes, with the purpose of informing future decision-making. The Parkland Hospital Research Coalition brought together healthcare, research, and practice entities as a highly collaborative team who identified common goals, delineated resource commitments, and coordinated structure and processes to conduct the facility evaluation research.

The Research Coalition had to develop a clear team structure and roles and a Research Coalition Charter to document the purpose and procedures for the evaluation. Then, the team developed a full plan and protocol, navigated needed reviews and approvals, followed by execution of research collaboration and data use agreements. The team met regularly in person and by conference call. Both patience and perseverance were key to ongoing progress.

The study undertaken by the Research Coalition explored staff perceptions and experiences related to the performance of the facility, the effectiveness of supply logistics, the changes to decentralized and private-room acute patient unit and neo-natal intensive care unit designs, and the operational adjustments and support that coincided with the physical environment change. Qualitative information from nursing staff was gathered using focus groups, and an online survey supplied quantitative data from a broader sample of those who work in the new hospital facility. Secondary patient data was used to compare acute inpatient outcomes, such as length of stay, medication events, hospital-acquired conditions, and falls, in populations in the old and new facilities.


Results from this study are providing data about the effectiveness of the new design as it applies to patients and staff in the new Parkland Hospital. Initial results will be shared broadly at the 2019 Healthcare Design Expo & Conference.

The Coalition also developed a workbook to help guide others to convene a multidisciplinary evaluation team, develop research questions and plans and define rules for collaboration. To get a copy, contact the HDR research team.