Articles Tagged with: Post-Occupancy Evaluation
Ballinger participates in Texas A&M’s Health Industry Advisory Council Annual Meeting

Ballinger principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE will participate in the 16th Health Industry Advisory Council (HIAC) Annual Meeting this week at Texas A&M University. Lou will present “Lessons from a Post-Occupancy Evaluation” about Ballinger’s work at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital.

HIAC was founded in 2002 to support the activities of the Center for Health Systems & Design. The Center brings together the Colleges of Architecture and Medicine at Texas A&M to promote innovation with a focus on evidence-based health facility planning and design. Lou has been a member of the council since 2016.

Post-Occupancy Evaluation Published for Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health’s Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute

Ballinger recently published a Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) of the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute at Penn Medicine’s Lancaster General Health. Ballinger conducts POE’s to assess and monitor how buildings are being used. This data informs how future designs can best foster healing and optimize the healthcare experience for patients, families, and caregivers. The research team was led by Ballinger Principal, Louis A. Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE; Senior Associate, Amy Floresta, AIA, LEED AP; and Healthcare Planner, Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC.

The objective of the POE was to understand which planning and design intentions have been most successfully realized, where user adaptations have been made, and the reasons for change. The team began by gathering both qualitative and quantitative data through an on-line survey to patients and staff, on-site interviews with staff, and on-site observation. These varied collection points allowed the evaluation team to triangulate issues that permeate all groups. The data was then evaluated using three categories: the overall building design and the perception of its spaces, how shifts in operations and procedure have affected staff culture, and patient experience.

The results suggest that the design was successful in fulfilling Lancaster General Health’s vision of providing an extraordinary experience every time. The iconic and integrated nature of the building has increased the hospital’s ability to attract and retain talented physicians and caregivers. Patients reported spending a significant amount of time utilizing the building amenities, which can be attributed, in part, to the presence of nature throughout these areas. The clinical layout was designed to provide a quiet and calming atmosphere. By separating the “on-stage” clinical environment from “off-stage” staff circulation, noise, traffic, and disruption were reduced. Decentralization supply stations reduced walking distances for staff and increased their time with patients. Overall, respondents found these planning strategies effective in improving the healthcare experience.

View the post-occupancy evaluation

Post-Occupancy Evaluation Published for Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital’s Lasko Tower

As part of Ballinger’s commitment to designing facilities that optimize the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff, our teams conduct post-occupancy evaluations (POE) on completed projects to assess and monitor how the buildings are being used. Ballinger recently published a POE on their design for the Lasko Tower at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital, completed in 2015. The research team, led by Ballinger Principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and healthcare planners Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC and Debbie Phillips, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, assessed which planning and design interventions were most successful and what effect the unit design had on staff and patients.

Although the primary goal was to gather insights for an additional bed tower (currently under construction), it also offered an opportunity to compare patient satisfaction and operational performance against an existing 20-bed unit, the West Building (built in 1962 and renovated in 1998). Significant differences between the West unit and the Lasko Tower unit include a larger floor area with a racetrack organization of patient beds rather than a single-corridor layout, the inclusion of decentralized care stations between every two patient rooms, and more locations for staff charting.

The analysis assessed patient satisfaction with rooms and amenities, staff operations relative to charting and patient care, and housekeeping operations relative to material selection and ongoing maintenance. Because both of the units studied have private patient rooms, the evaluation enabled direct comparison between fall rates, HCAHPS scores (noise and cleanliness), and rates of hospital acquired infections (HAI). The study included a proximity index charting the travel distances between staff care stations, patient rooms and supplies, and assigned a cost/benefit metric to key design considerations.

The POE results suggest Lasko Tower is an improved patient care environment, and since moving in, the hospital has noted significant improvements in all categories. The insights gained through this study directly informed planning of the 96-room patient bed tower currently under construction.

View the post-occupancy evaluation

Evaluating the Benefits of Decentralized Stations Beyond Patient Visibility

Ballinger recently conducted a post-occupancy evaluation to assess how effective the inclusion of decentralized caregiver stations are toward improving staff and patient experience in the medical/surgical inpatient environment.

The research team focused on the Ballinger-designed Lasko Tower at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital that was completed in 2015 and utilized data and survey results to compare the new floors, each featuring decentralized caregiver stations to existing units which previously accommodated the same patient populations and were built with a single caregiver station and no decentralized stations.  By controlling for patient populations and consistent staff, the study focused on the physical environment. Its results support a strong case for the use of decentralized stations with benefits extending beyond patient visibility.

This research was published by the AIA AAH Academy Journal in an article written by Ballinger principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr. AIA, ACHA, ACHE and senior associate Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED BD+C, EDAC entitled “The decentralized station: More than just patient visibility”.

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