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Designing Preoperative and Post-operative Workspaces

Designing Preoperative and Post-operative Workspaces

The collaborative project, funded by a gift from Haworth through the Watt Family Innovation Center, explores preoperative and postoperative workspaces within complex ambulatory surgery centers (ASC). The spatial layout, furniture, and equipment of these work spaces should support patient, care partner and staff experiences within the context of emerging technologies and models of care. Multiple studies over the course of the project have examined a human centered approach to designing preoperative and post-operative spaces in ASCs.

Sponsor: Gift through the Watt Family Innovation Center from Haworth

Project period: 2015 - 2018

Study 1: Observational study of preoperative and postoperative work spaces- This observational study used a multimethod approach consisting of in-depth literature review, behavior mapping, shadowing, spatial analysis, and semi-structured interviews with nursing staff to understand the work patterns of nurses in preoperative and post-operative workspaces of ambulatory surgery centers. This study identified environmental design strategies that support or act as barriers to critical interactions between care teams (care providers, patients and care partners) and addressed the emerging role of technology in ambulatory surgery workspaces as well as issues associated with integrating technology into existing workspaces.

Study 2: Development and application of ergonomic assessment tool- This study involved the development of an ergonomic evaluation framework and design tool that focused on the work system versus the workstation in preoperative and postoperative workspaces in ASCs. As part of this study, the tool was tested and refined across several facilities with varying spatial configurations and workstation types.

Study 3: Comparing design alternatives using virtual reality- This study involved designing and testing innovative solutions of pre/postoperative rooms addressing a range of design and performance goals including the integration of a computer workstation to support electronic charting. Architecture + Health studio (class of 2018) participated in a two-week design intensive to develop and design three distinct prototypes of pre/postoperative rooms with varying types of workstations integrated into their work system. Each of these prototypes were evaluated by nurses using virtual reality to understand how well user goals were met. From these three prototypes, one was chosen and modified to incorporate the findings from the evaluation. This new prototype will be tested for its functional capabilities with users in a full-scale cardboard mock-up.