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Designing Waiting Rooms in Surgical Environments

Designing Waiting Rooms in Surgical Environments

Waiting rooms in healthcare environments have been previously studied to understand how factors such as aesthetics, privacy, comfort and incorporation of positive distractions impact user perception of quality of care. Though care partners of patients undergoing surgery often spend long hours in the surgical waiting rooms, no studies have examined how the built environment including the layout of the waiting area and design of seating could support their waiting experience.

Sponsor: Gift through the Watt Family Innovation Center from Haworth

Project period: 2018 to 2020

This study determines how furniture location impact care partners’ choice of seating in a virtual outpatient surgery waiting area during various tasks including patient check-in, receiving a phone call, getting coffee, and waiting for surgery to end. A multimethod approach including a survey and semi-structured interviews was utilized to capture participants’ seat selections as well as their feedback on how certain factors (e.g., visibility, accessibility, privacy, comfort, and aesthetic quality) impacted their choices. Additionally, the researchers obtained feedback on usability, comfort and aesthetic quality of seating furniture products that were incorporated in the virtual environment.