Designing Safe Intensive Care Units of the Future
Hospitals, clinics, and other health buildings occupy a unique place in our sensibilities. They are safe havens for the care and treatment of the sick, but they are also dynamic, challenging, and risky environments marked by high levels of stress and fragmentation in the continuity of care. Complexity is manifest in patient and treatment protocols, in the interdisciplinary coordination and hand-offs between providers, the interdependence of humans and technology, the large volumes of information required for decision making, and the residual uncertainty associated with these decisions. It is widely acknowledged that the physical environment has a significant impact on health and safety. However, innovation in the design of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) has not been done with the goal of enhancing patient safety or improving the quality of care, as these aspects were presumed to be implicit in the clinical practice of the facility.
KeywordsIntensive Care Unit Patient Safety Patient Room Reverberation Time Fall Injury
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