University of Kentucky

Poster Title

The Translation and Communication of Design Research

Presenter Information

Erin Taylor, University of Kentucky

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

With the introduction of the new University of Kentucky Cardiovascular Unit designed by GBBN Architects, changes were visible in the design outcomes and functionality of the space. The primary difference in the transition of units was the use of decentralized versus centralized nursing models. The original hospital was centralized, which provides one unit for all nurses to work, while the new hospital houses the decentralized model, where there are smaller stations between patient rooms for individual or paired nurses to work. Traditionally, research presentations are composed into lengthy documents and published. For a designer, this format is frequently overlooked due to lack of visual interest and attraction to wordy documents- therefore causing a disconnect in the benefits accompanied by research. It is important that research is understood, valued, and used as a basis of design so we can continuously improve healthcare workplace design in regards to functionality and patient satisfaction. In order to demonstrate this, it is clear we must take existing research and provide a visual representation. Research was conducted by design students to examine the effectiveness of the decentralized nursing model on efficiency, workflow, and communication. The students hand documented observations of paths traveled, distance traveled, time spent with patients, and communication among users of the space. I then digitally documented the information to make it shareable for the design community. Methods of color-coding, easily readable lines and graphics, layering, and keying provide a clear illustration of several research documentation methods into one visual. These strategies of displaying research translate the information into an graphic document, which best articulates to the designers the influence of design in the hospital configuration. Once presented in an appropriate manor, ideally designers would learn from them and consider this as an opportunity for healthcare design improvement.

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The Translation and Communication of Design Research

With the introduction of the new University of Kentucky Cardiovascular Unit designed by GBBN Architects, changes were visible in the design outcomes and functionality of the space. The primary difference in the transition of units was the use of decentralized versus centralized nursing models. The original hospital was centralized, which provides one unit for all nurses to work, while the new hospital houses the decentralized model, where there are smaller stations between patient rooms for individual or paired nurses to work. Traditionally, research presentations are composed into lengthy documents and published. For a designer, this format is frequently overlooked due to lack of visual interest and attraction to wordy documents- therefore causing a disconnect in the benefits accompanied by research. It is important that research is understood, valued, and used as a basis of design so we can continuously improve healthcare workplace design in regards to functionality and patient satisfaction. In order to demonstrate this, it is clear we must take existing research and provide a visual representation. Research was conducted by design students to examine the effectiveness of the decentralized nursing model on efficiency, workflow, and communication. The students hand documented observations of paths traveled, distance traveled, time spent with patients, and communication among users of the space. I then digitally documented the information to make it shareable for the design community. Methods of color-coding, easily readable lines and graphics, layering, and keying provide a clear illustration of several research documentation methods into one visual. These strategies of displaying research translate the information into an graphic document, which best articulates to the designers the influence of design in the hospital configuration. Once presented in an appropriate manor, ideally designers would learn from them and consider this as an opportunity for healthcare design improvement.