Freihoefer, K., Lindval, S., Bayramzadeh, S., & Hanson, L. (2019). Implications of a Decentralized Postpartum Unit Design and Clinical Operations. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, in press.
While there are many healthcare design studies on the effect of decentralized design in acute care, this appears to be the first study to look at how the layout supports postpartum care. Methods included shadowing, a staff survey, HCAHPS scores, and acoustical readings. Nurses spent the majority of their shift with mom and baby patients, and a little over one third of their time charting. Despite the significant amount of time charting, in the course of 25 hours of shadowing, there was only one occasion when a nurse used a decentralized charting station. The study shows the need for transition planning – as a new decentralized environment does not mean there will automatically be new decentralized behavior.