Friday, August 28, 2015

Nurse Input and Leadership Needed in Health Care Design

A new book explores the importance of nurse-led innovations in the process of designing health care environments, Healthcare Design reports.

Nurses as Leaders in Healthcare Design: A Resource for Nurses and Interprofessional Partners, will be published this fall by Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design (NIHD) and Herman Miller Healthcare. Its goal is to inform and guide nurses through the design process with practical information and case studies.

NIHD President Nurses Stichler and Kathy Okland, a senior health care consultant at Herman Miller Healthcare are the executive editors of the book. In an interview with Healthcare Design they discussed the pitfalls of not including nurses’ perspectives in the design process.

“When the nurses’ point of view is absent from the design table, serious mistakes have been made,” Stichler said. “For example, there was a trend to eliminate the centralized communication hub when designing decentralized nursing stations. Unfortunately that was a huge mistake because both centralized and decentralized work stations are needed.”

The centralized station is where nurses and other health care providers meet to discuss unit activities and patients’ status, and interacting with family members, Stichler said. When the design eliminated that centralized space, staff had to develop workarounds, including setting up a folding table so that the interprofessional team could meet.  “So you can see how important it is to have a nursing voice that can speak up and say, wait, I don’t think you understand what goes on in that space, let me describe it to you.”

Okland and Stichler will lead an interactive discussion “Planning and Design for Healthcare Design: A Nurse’s Perspective” at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference, November 14-17 in the Washington, DC area, for more information, visit

The full interview is available here: 

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