New Report Finds Identifying Key Facility Design Requirements For Patient Safety

A new research report from The Center for Health Design (CHD), with support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) finds that it is essential to focus on patient safety during the facility pre-design phase, as decisions made during this time affect all key decisions made later in the project. Titled “Designing for Patient Safety: Developing Methods to Integrate Patient Safety Concerns in the Design Process,” this report is the first part of a patient safety risk assessment tool kit that will be developed over the next three years.

CHD recently received a three-year grant from AHRQ to define and produce practical resources for design practitioners to use as tools to integrate patient safety into the various phases of facility design. FGI is also committed to supporting this work over the next three years. Other key partners for this work include MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2), Kaiser Permanente, and the Innovation Learning Network (ILN).

Based on consensus within the industry, there is an urgent need for a strong methodology to identify and eliminate built environment latent conditions that impact patient safety during the planning, design, and construction of healthcare facilities. The project focused on developing the processes, tools, and approaches by which safe design features could be incorporated into building design.

One of the key findings was that it is critical to focus on patient safety issues during the predesign phase of a healthcare facility building project. This influences all dey decisions made downstream in the project. Highly rated design tools include simulation, process analysis, linkanalysis, balanced scorecard, failure modes and effects analysis, and others.

“We are looking forward to continuing this work with AHRQ and FGI over the next three years, creating a comprehensive tool kit that will give design professionals and healthcare administrators the information they need to make informed design decisions,” stated Anjali Joseph, Ph.D., EDAC, Vice President, Director of Research, The Center for Health Design. “This work will allow us to develop practical evidence-based tools for implementing the patient safety risk assessment included in the 2014 FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities.”

To download a PDF of the findings, click this link.