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PATIENT ROOM DESIGN: Ergonomic considerations

An argument for standardizing the design of the hospital patient room is that caregivers spend less time in searching for necessary items, which is particularly important in emergency situations.  This study took a look at whether it is possible to come up with an optimal patient room design as far as approach to the bed and placement of the IV pole.  Nurses of different ages and experience levels were given three tasks to perform with an actor portraying a patient in 9 different patient room configurations.  Almost all (87 percent) of the actions that were identified as being potentially harmful or stressful had to do with the caregiver’s interaction with the bed or the headwall.  Only 13 percent were related to the room configuration.  These potentially harmful or stressful actions mostly involved bending and stretching. 

Source: Pati, D., and others.  The biomechanics of patient room standardization.  HERD. Health Environments Research & Design Journal;5(2):29-45, Wint. 2012.  Click here for the publisher’s website: https://www.herdjournal.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=ArtIcles%2FNews&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=3&Tier1=Research  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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