Impact of hospital space standardization on patient health and safety

2016-12-14T11:30:11Z (GMT) by Andrew Price Jun Lu
The first two steps in making any process more reliable are to standardize or simplify the process thus turning a desired action into a default action. Standardization reduces reliance on short-term memory and allows those unfamiliar with new location to follow an already experienced standard process or design thus leading to safe and efficient work practices. This study reports on research into healthcare facility design and identifies the drivers, barriers, priorities and potential areas that can inform the design process and the adoption of standardization aimed at significantly improving patient care and safety as well as enhancing staff productivity. Interviews were held with architects, project managers, healthcare planners and contractors to elicit their views. An interview protocol was developed based on initial literature findings. This paper highlights the need to think more deeply about why space standardization is needed and which benefits need to be captured from space standardization. Meanwhile, hospitals and Trusts provide very different situations and contexts, such as the model of care, the patient s journey, medical technologies and demographics. Innovative solutions to the space standardization must be in response to the context being considered, but there are some generic principles and concepts that apply to most situations.