This was a project of Discovery within a hospital network to cultivate insights and strategy towards the physical redesigning of nurse stations. Through immersions -embedding within different hospital departments and shadowing the work experiences of nurses and doctors, my research synthesized a list of guiding principles to define the strategy of the redesign. These guiding design principles were then tested with diverse health care professionals within a context lab setting as a method of refinement. These refined principles were prioritized with business leaders through multiple focus groups and concept prioritization labs. The final principles of design were socialized with the architecture and design team to translate into tangible blueprints.
A brief summary of the design principles are as follows:
01/ heads down environment – A substantial portion of the HCP’s day is spent performing administrative/computer tasks, like that of any office worker. The current environment subjects to excess distractions and chaos, highlighting the need to design for peace and focus in the form of heads down space, like that of a home office.
02/ communicate across time – Due to diverging and complex schedules, HCPs commonly miss key interactions with colleagues. Streamline this lapse in communication by enabling messages to be shared across time – so that they are no longer looking for each other throughout the wing.
03/ enable brief exchanges – Asking for a second opinion or extra piece of information is second nature to the work experience. Current environments do not optimally facilitate brief discussions as HCPs often resort to talking over each other. Create a space or dynamic environment that enables people to chat.
04/ organize documentation – Think outside the box, beyond traditional documentation set ups. Although electronic records are in everyone’s wish-list, paper is not going anywhere just yet. The current methods of record keeping are convoluted and disorganized. Modern document storing interventions can be designed and implemented to streamline this process.
05/ focus on ergonomics – HCP experience physically exerting work – from physically manipulating patients to sitting at a sub-optimal desk for documentation. Ensure ergonomic guidelines are met to reduce number of musculoskeletal injuries and down time of staff.
06/ Flight control analogy- Time and time again, the nurse station was compared to a flight control center in which treatments, procedures, check-ups flow in and out like airplanes from an airport. The high traffic at times require a method to display the current state. Who’s in which room, what’s upcoming, level of supplies should almost always be information that is accessible to the HCPs.
A project to uncover needs to nurses and health care professionals to guide the redesign of nurse stations within a hospital network
May 05, 2014