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The Role of Designed Environment’s Impact on Falls in Patient Rooms Examined in New Report

A new free research report, titled, “Contribution of the Designed Environment to Fall Risk in Hospitals” is available in The Center for Health Design’s Knowledge Repository thanks to support from The Facility Guidelines Institute and IDEAS Institute.

In-patient falls are the largest single category of reported incidents in hospitals, affecting up to 10 percent of annual hospital admissions. With such a high number affecting patient safety and operating costs, it is important to understand the range of factors that impact falls and fall risk.

This report provides a cross-sectional analysis of 27 units in 12 hospitals and using archival fall data, identifies a number of environmental characteristics associated with greater or fewer falls, including visibility to staff work spaces, presence of a dedicated family space in the room and bathroom layout. For more information, visit

“Multiple issues need to be considered while making decisions about healthcare interiors. Nowhere is this more evident than in the design of the patient room,” stated Margaret Calkins, Ph.D., M Arch, EDAC, senior research scientist, IDEAS Institute. “Design decisions about the room layout, flooring, lighting, finishes and furniture, impact a range of healthcare outcomes for patients such as patient satisfaction, hospital acquired infections, patient falls and medical errors. With reimbursement tied increasingly to these hospital-acquired conditions and patient satisfaction, hospital owners and administrators are paying a lot of attention to the factors that impact these outcomes, including the design of the built environment and the design of patient rooms.”


Posted January 14, 2013

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