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Patient room design: advantages of same-handed concept

Nursing unit design using a standardized “same-handed” design was found to be superior in some respects to a “mirrored” design, in this research conducted at two hospitals.  The findings suggest that the same-handed design concept resulted in patient perceptions of lower noise levels, better quality sleep, and a greater likelihood that nurses approach the bed on the patient’s right side (which has been associated with a lower rate of near falls).  Nurses reported higher satisfaction with the way the work space is organized on the same-handed units as well. 

What I like about this article:  1. That is an actual research study, not just an opinion piece.  2. The first author is the director of research at HOK, a large architectural firm.  3. Although they did not formally study this concept, they also discuss the advantages of “balanced headwalls.” 

Source: Watkins, N., and others.  Same-handed and mirrored unit configurations: is there a difference in patient and nurse outcomesJONA. Journal of Nursing Administration;41(6):273-279, June 2011.  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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