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Application of Human Factors in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Redesign

Structural Approaches to Address Issues in Patient Safety

ISBN: 978-1-83867-085-6, eISBN: 978-1-83867-084-9

ISSN: 1474-8231

Publication date: 24 October 2019


Only recently has physical space design become more widely recognized as playing a critical role in delivery of care, with an emerging body of literature on the application of human factors approaches to design and evaluation. This chapter describes the use of human factors approaches to develop and conduct an evaluation of a proposed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit redesign in a Midwestern children’s hospital. Methods included observations and knowledge elicitation from stakeholders to characterize their goals, challenges, and needs. This characterization is integral to informing the design of user-centered solutions, including physical space design. We also describe an approach to evaluating the proposed design that yielded actionable recommendations specific to hospital-driven design goals.




The authors wish to acknowledge the sponsorship of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to conduct this work. The authors are grateful to Whittney Brady and Victoria Decastro for the opportunity to be involved in the NICU effort and to Maria Geiser for her guidance and helpful insights. We also wish to note and acknowledge that this manuscript was conceived under the authors’ current affiliations. The described process was applied under an effort conducted when all authors’ affiliation was Cognitive Solutions Division of Applied Research Associates, Inc. Cognitive Solutions Division is no longer in existence.


Grome, A., Papautsky, E.L., Crandall, B. and Greenberg, J. (2019), "Application of Human Factors in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Redesign", Structural Approaches to Address Issues in Patient Safety (Advances in Health Care Management, Vol. 18), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 75-97.



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