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Collaboration and Teamwork in Healthcare Facilities

Collaboration and Teamwork in Healthcare Facilities

As healthcare transitions to a team-based approach, communication between healthcare personnel plays an increasingly important role in delivering quality patient care. Many environmental factors contribute to better communication, such as team spaces, functional paths, and visibility between people. Patient privacy and the importance of “heads-down” provider work are also at play. These factors create challenges for healthcare design.

Through our teamwork projects, we take a multi-faceted approach to understand the needs of healthcare workers in diverse systems to provide best practice guidelines.

Cognitive Empowerment Program Center

The study aimed to understand the environmental needs of staff members working with the aging population in therapeutic settings to enhance collaboration, teamwork, and overall organizational effectiveness. It involved multiple focus groups and workshops. The outcome was a framework of environmental factors and accordingly a set of customized design recommendations for the center. 

Mayo Clinic Community Practice

We evaluated the design of outpatient clinics and the impact on teamwork and collaboration to inform the design standards for the Mayo Clinic Community Practice. The project included detailed spatial analysis and customized functional scenarios. The project found that clinics that had co-located team rooms reported better teamwork, and that seeing and encountering other staff increased communication, awareness of and coordination with them.

Military Health System

In this 18-month project, the team created detailed case studies of Patient-Centered Medical Home clinics -- three each for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Case studies included spatial analysis, behavior mapping data, time motion data for the patient journey, patient process maps, and teamwork outcome metrics. We also built a simulation model to test the number of exam rooms needed for different scenarios. The result was a set of recommendations for clinic design.

Positive Impact Health Centers

Positive Impact Health Centers (PIHC), which provides care for the Atlanta-area HIV community, engaged the SimTigrate team to review and refine the clinic design for its new ambulatory care spaces. PIHC leadership wanted to remove silos of care to improve team collaboration across service lines. This project included interviews, plan review and field research to observe work flow.


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