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Knowledge Repository

A complete, user-friendly database of healthcare design research references MoreLess about the Knowledge Repository

The Knowledge Repository is a complete, user-friendly database of healthcare design research references that continues to grow with the latest peer-reviewed publications. Start with our Knowledge Repository for all of your searches for articles and research citations on healthcare design topics. Access full texts through the source link, read key point summaries, or watch slidecasts. Expand your search and find project briefs, interviews, and other relevant resources by visiting our Insights & Solutions page.

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Long-term care physical environments- effect on medication errors

Author(s): Mahmood, A., Chaudhury, H., Gaumont, A., Rust, T.
Medication errors contribute significantly to patient morbidity and mortality, and are associated with considerable healthcare costs, as well. The human and financial costs following preventable medical errors are high; data in the United States suggest an estimated 44,000 inpatients die each year from preventable medical errors. Nationally, preventable adverse event costs have been estimated at $17 billion.
Key Point Summary
Added July 2014

Occupancy and Patient Care Quality Benefits of Private Room Designs for Five Different Children’s Hospital Intensive Care Units – A Human Factors Evaluation

Author(s): Smith, T.J.
Prior research over the last two decades has shown private rooms (PR) within NICU care environments positively impact parents and patient care staff in the areas of lighting quality, privacy, noise, job satisfaction, reduced stress for staff, and increased participation and accommodations for parents. However, minimal research has been conducted to understand the impact of PR on other pediatric departments within acute care environments.
Key Point Summary
Added May 2014

Applying human factors in improving medication-use safety

Author(s): Schneider,PJ.
In this descriptive study the author summarizes the highlights of an interactive conference on human factors (HF) and t applications to improve medication safety. The author describes the various human factors concepts and tools and their applications in reducing human errors, thus improving medication safety.
Key Point Summary
Added May 2014

Centralized vs. Decentralized Nursing Stations: Effects on Nurses’ Functional Use of Space and Work Environment

Author(s): Zborowsky, T., Bunker Hellmich, L., Morelli, A., O’Neill, M.
Information technology enables nurses to move away from traditional centralized paper-charting stations to smaller decentralized work stations and charting substations located closer to, or inside of, patient rooms. Understanding the tradeoffs presented by centralized and decentralized nursing station design could provide useful information for future design and the nurse environment "fit."
Key Point Summary
Added May 2014

The Effect of Environmental Design on Reducing Nursing Errors and Increasing Efficiency in Acute Care Settings: A Review and Analysis of the Literature

Author(s): Chaudhury, H., Mahmood, A., Valente, M.
In acute care settings, the physical environment plays an important role in staff efficiency and patient safety. Some research suggests that poor environments can result in staff stress, anxiety, and distractions due to noise; artificial lighting; improper or inadequate ventilation; and disorienting layouts of nursing units. There is less research on how environmental factors affect nursing staff health, effectiveness, errors, and job satisfaction.
Key Point Summary
Added April 2014

Nurses’ Perception of Single-Occupancy Versus Multioccupancy Rooms in Acute Care Environments: An Exploratory Comparative Assessment

Author(s): Chaudhury, H., Mahmood, A., Valente, M.
As people are living longer and the baby boomers age, the demand for hospital beds will increase. As new facilities are built to handle this influx of patients, the challenge for hospital designers and administrators is to design patient rooms that promote therapeutic goals, foster positive patient outcomes, and function as intensive care rooms. Recent research suggests that single-occupancy rooms are more suitable for infection control and patient care than multioccupancy rooms. However, no research has been done about nursing staff members’ perception of single-occupancy and multioccupancy patient rooms in acute care settings as it relates to patient care.
Key Point Summary
Added April 2014

Enhancing the traditional hospital design process: a focus on patient safety

Author(s): Reiling, J.G., Knutzen, B.L., Wallen, T.K., McCullough, S. , Miller, R., Chernos, S.
The current study is an overview of innovative system engineering and patient safety factors, named as the Synergy model that a hospital system utilized to design their new facility.
Key Point Summary
Added April 2014

Noise and related events in neonatal intensive care unit

Author(s): Chang, Y. J., Lin, C. H., Lin, L. H.
Noise contributes to environmental stress to premature infants, who often spend long periods of time in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). Some research indicates that noise contributes to higher incidences of hearing loss, as well as cardiovascular, respirator, endocrine, and behavioral deficits. Some of the noise might be reduced by studying different aspects of NICU settings (i.e., wards, personnel, equipment, and procedures).
Key Point Summary
Added April 2014

Challenges in Design and Transition to a Private Room Model in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Author(s): Carlson, B., Walsh, S., Wergin, T., Schwarzkopf, K., Ecklund, S.
The need for neonatal intensive care units (NICU) is increasing at a time when research suggests their designs need to change to provide a developmentally appropriate healing environment. One approach is a private room NICU model versus a large multibed ward. However, such a radical design change could be challenging to implement.
Key Point Summary
Added April 2014

Noise levels in Johns Hopkins Hospital

Author(s): Busch-Vishniac, I. J., West, J. E., Bamhill, C., Hunter, T., Orellana, D., Chivukula, R.
Patients, visitors, and staff often complain about the amount of noise in hospital settings. However, in addition to being annoying and disrupting sleep, some research suggests that high sound levels negatively affect the speed of wound healing and the number of medications, as well as contributing to staff stress and burnout.
Key Point Summary
Added April 2014

Noise Levels in an Urban Hospital and Workers' Subjective Responses

Author(s): Bayo, M. V., Garcia, A. M., Armando, G.
Noise has become a major environmental problem as well as a public health concern, resulting in a wide range of negative consequences. Despite healthcare facilities’ attempts to foster favorable environments to assist in patient recovery and staff working conditions, noise levels are often higher than desirable in and around hospitals. There is a need to identify the main noisy areas and noise sources and evaluate the hospital staff’s reactions to noise.
Key Point Summary
Added April 2014

How private is your consultation? Acoustic and audiological measures of speech privacy in the otolaryngology clinic

Author(s): Clamp, P. S., Grant, D. G., Zapala, D. A., Hawkins, D. B.
Although acoustic privacy is desirable during healthcare-related conversations, the authors show that patient-doctor conversations in clinic consultation rooms may not be acoustically private.
Key Point Summary
Added March 2014

The design of psychologists’ offices: a qualitative evaluation of environment-function fit

Author(s): Watkins, N. J., Anthony, K. H.
Psychologists attempt to create office environments that support their therapeutic discussions with patients.
Key Point Summary
Added March 2014

Review of the Literature: Acuity-Adaptable Patient Room

Author(s): Bonuel, N. , Cesario, S.
Acuity-adaptable rooms allow patients to stay in one room from the time they are admitted to when they leave, regardless of their acuity level. These specially equipped private rooms are staffed by nurses who have the skills and training to support the complete range of care for patients with similar conditions or disease processes. The rooms are larger in size than a regular hospital room to accommodate various patients’ needs as their condition changes, such as critical care equipment, additional staff, procedures, and family members.
Key Point Summary
Added March 2014

Clinical review: The impact of noise on patients’ sleep and the effectiveness of noise reduction strategies in intensive care units

Author(s): Xie, H., Kang, J., Mills, G. H.
The World Health Organization recommends that noise levels in hospitals stay below 30 dBA at night to allow for better rest, yet excessive noise is prevalent in many healthcare settings, including intensive care units (ICUs). Research indicates that, since the 1960s, noise levels in hospitals increased by an average of 0.38 dBA (day) and 0.42 dBA (night) per year. Other research reports that the noise level in ICUs ranges from 50 to 75 dBA, with a night peak level soaring to 103 dBA. It’s easy to see why sleep disturbance is common among these vulnerable patients.
Key Point Summary
Added February 2014

Nurses’ Perceptions of How physical Environment Affects Medication Errors in Acute Care Settings

Author(s): Mahmood, A., Chaudhury, H., Valente, M.
Medication errors in hospitals occur for a number of reasons, stemming from staff and organizational issues to aspects of the physical environment. Errors include omissions, giving the wrong type or amount of medication, and giving the wrong patient unneeded medication. Research has indicated that a significant amount of these errors are avoidable.
Key Point Summary
Added February 2014

Servicescape: Physical environment of hospital pharmacies and hospital pharmacists’ work outcomes

Author(s): Lin, B.Y.-J., Leu, W.-J., Breen, G.-M., Lin, W.-H.
Researchers have studied the healthcare work environment from a number of angles, from an organizational behavior perspective honing in on motivation and reward, to an occupational and environmental perspective concerned with comfort and ergonomics, to a pathogenic perspective interested in exposure to disease. The idea of a “servicescape” has arisen in healthcare marketing to investigate the impact of the physical environment of service settings on employees’ psychological states and perceptions.
Key Point Summary
Added February 2014

Same-Handed and Mirrored Unit Configurations: Is There a Difference in Patient and Nurse Outcomes?

Author(s): Watkins, N., Kennedy, M., Ducharme, M., Padula, C.
Awareness of the impact of healthcare facility design on a number of diverse patient and staff outcomes is growing. From patient recovery time, satisfaction, and comfort to nursing staff efficiency, error rates, and distraction, varied outcomes are being linked to environmental conditions and design attributes in hospital settings. Inpatient unit configurations, specifically same-handed configurations vs. mirrored units, are a particular area of interest for researchers, with implications for practitioners and patient care. Same-handed configurations, which standardize all rooms within a unit such that they are all identical, may allow for reduced noise as headwalls are no longer shared.
Key Point Summary
Added February 2014

Efficacy of controlling night-time noise and activities to improve patients’ sleep quality in a surgical intensive care unit

Author(s): Li, S., Wang, T., Wu, S. F. V., Liang, S., Tung, H.
In the intensive care unit (ICU), noises, continuous lighting, and constant care-related activities disrupt patients’ sleep. Patients also may struggle to sleep because they are in an unfamiliar environment, feel isolated, are in pain, have various tubes or other equipment to deal with, as well as just general treatment activities.
Key Point Summary
Added January 2014

Characteristics of the Nighttime Hospital Bedside Care Environment (Sound, Light, and Temperature) for Children With Cancer

Author(s): Linder, L. A., Christian, B. J.
Children with cancer have a lot to cope with aside from their disease and its treatment. Often, they are in unfamiliar healthcare environments that may be too noisy or bright to facilitate uninterrupted sleep. However, not much is known about the sound and light levels in either pediatric or adult inpatient oncology units.
Key Point Summary
Added January 2014