The Healthcare Workspace: Understanding the Role of Decentralized Nursing Stations, Corridors, and Huddle Spaces as Locations for Teamwork in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Lindsey Fay, Kevin Real, Shannon Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The goal of this research was to understand the use of decentralized nursing stations (DNS), corridors, and huddle stations as places for teamwork and multidisciplinary care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Background: This article shares outcomes from a pre- and post-occupancy evaluation that assessed a NICU moving from an open-bay model to a new single-family room (SFR) unit comprised of six, 12-bed neighborhoods. This interdisciplinary research team draws upon the practical expertise of a NICU Patient Care Manager and researchers in Design and Communication to illuminate the research process, results, and lessons learned. Methods: A multi-methodological design, approved by the institutional review board, was employed that utilized an electronically distributed pre- and post-move survey of staff and observational counts of face-to-face interactions. Results: Survey results indicate NICU staff have statistically significant higher perceptions of job satisfaction, stress and well-being, and design satisfaction among a variety of professionals after moving to a SFR, decentralized unit design. Consistent with the literature, staff did not have significantly higher perceptions of the decentralized NICU relative to teamwork. Observations revealed frequency of conversations primarily at DNS followed by corridors and huddle stations. When examining the multidisciplinary makeup, outcomes were reversed with huddle spaces holding the largest percentage of conversations. On average, there were 2.72 individuals involved in these interactions, with the corridor seeing the largest average of group sizes. Conclusion: The outcomes of this study demonstrate that neutral spaces such as corridors and centralized huddle stations should be considered as locations for strategic collaboration and multidisciplinary care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-282
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Environments Research and Design Journal
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Keywords

  • corridors
  • decentralized nursing stations
  • huddle spaces
  • job satisfaction
  • multidisciplinary care
  • NICU
  • nursing unit design
  • post-occupancy evaluation (POE)
  • pre-/post-design
  • stress and well-being
  • teamwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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