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GS&P Wins Certificate of Research Excellence for Study on Patient Room Orientation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gresham, Smith and Partners recently won an inaugural Certificate of Research Excellence, awarded by the Environmental Design Research Association for GS&P’s study of how reorienting patient beds at Florida Hospital Waterman impacted patient outcomes, satisfaction and interaction with staff. The CORE program recognizes rigorous, valuable and impactful practice-based research to spark innovation and promote best practices in environmental design.

“Seemingly simple things like moving a bed to the opposite wall can impact patients and staff in complex ways,” said GS&P Executive Vice President of Healthcare Mark Henderson, AIA. “Understanding how design choices affect people’s actions and perceptions helps us develop the best solutions for our clients. Our research and design staff is constantly looking for new questions to answer and old assumptions to question.”

When the leaders of Florida Hospital Waterman decided to build out the sixth floor to add nursing beds, they initially assumed the headwall of the patient room would remain visible from the nurse’s station. GS&P challenged this assumption with an alternative layout and conceived a study to determine how the change would affect the acoustics of patient rooms, the amount of time staff spent in the rooms and patient behavior, satisfaction and fall rates. The hospital agreed, and the findings of the study, “Does Privacy Trump Visibility? Examining an Iconic Hospital’s Radial Nursing Unit,” were presented at the 2013 Healthcare Design Conference and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Conference, both in Orlando, Florida.

Researchers found that actual noise and patient perceptions of noise were lower in the new room layout. Patient ratings of the hospital overall were higher, and staff also spent more time in patient rooms.

Photos courtesy of Mark S. Gall.

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Posted November 12, 2015

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