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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Leena Aalto, Pia Sirola, Tiina Kalliomäki-Levanto, Marjaana Lahtinen, Virpi Ruohomäki, Heidi Salonen and Kari Reijula

The challenges arising from the reform of the social and healthcare sector call for efficient, effective and novel processes in both public and private health and medical…

Abstract

Purpose

The challenges arising from the reform of the social and healthcare sector call for efficient, effective and novel processes in both public and private health and medical care. Facilities need to be designed to suit the new processes and to offer usable workspaces at different levels of healthcare services. Along with traditional construction, modular facility innovations could be one solution to these pressures. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study analyzed the different usability characteristics of the work environment in modular and non-modular healthcare facilities (HCFs). The qualitative research method was based on semi-structured interviews of employees and observations of the case buildings.

Findings

According to the results, the usability characteristics were divided into four main categories: functionality, healthiness, safety/security and comfort. The main differences between the modular and non-modular facilities appeared to be room size, soundproofing, safety issues and the utilization of colors and artwork, which were all perceived as better realized in the non-modular facilities. The staff highlighted functionality as the most important characteristic in their work environment. They even considered functionality as a feature of a comfortable work environment.

Originality/value

This paper presents new knowledge and a detailed description of the opinions and experiences of healthcare professionals concerning a user-centric, usable environment in the context of modular and non-modular HCFs.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Leena Aalto, Sanna Lappalainen, Heidi Salonen and Kari Reijula

As hospital operations are undergoing major changes, comprehensive methods are needed for evaluating the indoor environment quality (IEQ) and usability of workspaces in…

Abstract

Purpose

As hospital operations are undergoing major changes, comprehensive methods are needed for evaluating the indoor environment quality (IEQ) and usability of workspaces in hospital buildings. The purpose of this paper is to present a framework of the characteristics that have an impact on the usability of work environments for hospital renovations, and to use this framework to illustrate the usability evaluation process in the real environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The usability of workspaces in hospital environments was evaluated in two hospitals, as an extension of the IEQ survey. The evaluation method was usability walk-through. The main aim was to determine the usability characteristics of hospital facility workspaces that support health, safety, good indoor air quality, and work flow.

Findings

The facilities and workspaces were evaluated by means of four main themes: orientation, layout solution, working conditions, and spaces for patients. The most significant usability flaws were cramped spaces, noise/acoustic problems, faulty ergonomics, and insufficient ventilation. Due to rooms being cramped, all furnishing directly caused functionality and safety problems in these spaces.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a framework that links different design characteristics to the usability of hospital workspaces that need renovation.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

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