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Knowledge Repository

The Role of the Physical Environment in the Hospital of the 21st Century: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

Author(s): Ulrich, R. S., Zimring, C., Quan, X., Joseph, A., Choudhary, R.
Added December 2022

The Healthcare Workspace: Understanding the Role of Decentralized Nursing Stations, Corridors, and Huddle Spaces as Locations for Teamwork in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Author(s): Fay, L., Real, K., Haynes, S.
Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) host fragile and vulnerable patients. Research studies on NICUs with a single-family room (SFR) layout demonstrate benefits to both neonates and their parents but the impact on staff remains unclear. The decentralization associated with SFRs may impair teamwork.
Key Point Summary
Added June 2022

The demand for specialization and its influence on the design of inpatient nursing units: Can standardized design be done once and for all?

Author(s): Xuan, X., Duan, X., Feng, Z.
Research shows that specialized units, such as psychiatry and intensive care, require built environments that are specific to their patient populations. Medical-surgical units within the same facility typically have similar physical layouts even though they often serve distinct patient populations.
Key Point Summary
Added April 2022

Emergency psychiatric assessment, treatment, and healing (EmPATH) unit decreases hospital admission for patients presenting with suicidal ideation in rural America

Author(s): Kim, A. K., Vakkalanka, J. P., Van Heukelom, P., Tate, J., Lee, S.
The number of patients in Emergency Departments (EDs) with mental health issues and suicide ideation has been on the rise, and studies outline the impact on outcomes such as delays in care and ED overcrowding and boarding. Emergency Psychiatric Assessment, Treatment, and Healing (EmPATH) units support increased access to mental healthcare with reduced burdens on EDs.
Key Point Summary
Added February 2022

Patient and clinician engagement with health information in the primary care waiting room: A mixed methods case study

Author(s): Penry Williams, C., Elliott, K., Gall, J., Woodward-Kron, R.
Health literacy (i.e., the ability to understand medical information) is a big part of how people make decisions about their health. The availability of health information in waiting rooms has the potential to provide education to people who may not otherwise have access.
Key Point Summary
Added February 2022

Designing palliative care facilities to better support patient and family care: A staff perspective

Author(s): McLaughlan, R., Richards, K., Lipson-Smith, R., Collins, A., Philip, J.
There are several factors that make palliative care unique, including longer lengths of stay, the number of visitors, and considerations around end-of-life care. Staff perceive that privacy, a homelike environment, and safety are important for their ability to provide comfort and support to both patients and families.
Key Point Summary
Added February 2022

A study of workspace design characteristics exemplified by nurses’ satisfaction within three intensive care units in a university hospital

Author(s): Obeidat, B., Younis, M. B., Al-Shlool, E., Alzouby, A.
Nursing job satisfaction can be influenced by the healthcare system, organizational factors, job requirements, and individual characteristics. This study focuses on nursing satisfaction within three different ICU layouts in a Jordanian healthcare facility.
Key Point Summary
Added November 2021

The continuous learning cycle: A multi-phase post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of decentralized nursing unit design

Author(s): Cai, H., Spreckelmeyer, K.
Post-occupancy evaluation (POE) is viewed as a valuable component of the healthcare design process and can be used in the evidence-based research process to make design decisions. Research is limited that documents findings of POEs to make informed decisions for future projects.
Key Point Summary
Added November 2021

Experiences of sensory overload and communication barriers by autistic adults in health care settings

Author(s): Strömberg, M., Liman, L., Bang, P., Igelström, K.
Autistic adults have an elevated risk for health problems that can be further exacerbated by stressful and inefficient healthcare experiences. The goal of this study was to identify problematic patterns of sensory and communication experiences for autistic adults. Intense, unpredictable, and uncontrollable environments present barriers to communication and contribute to overstimulation.
Key Point Summary
Added October 2021

Mental health outcome measures in environmental design research: A critical review

Author(s): Shin, J., Dennis, S., Mohammed, H.
While recent studies show a relationship between well-being and the built environment, few focus specifically on mental health. This study found that access to nature and other design elements of the built environment can improve positive affect (pleasurable feelings), vitality (energy or aliveness), executive functioning (memory, concentration), mood, and general well-being—while also decreasing cortisol (stress).
Key Point Summary
Added May 2021