Patient-Centered Design

June 1, 2015

Simulating The NICU Experience

The Institute for Patient-Centered Design, a nonprofit organization established to give patients and families a voice in healthcare facility design, presented its second annual Patient Experience Simulation Lab (PESL) at the 2013 Healthcare Design Conference.

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) was selected as the subject of the 2013 PESL, in order to explore benefits and challenges of single-family patient rooms, a design choice many new facilities are making to promote privacy, safety, and family-centered care.In both physical and virtual models, workshop participants took on the role of end users in simulated activities that offered them an understanding of the varying scenarios patients, families, and providers face.

The PESL enabled participants to experience the effects of design on functions that take place inside these spaces, guided with input from actual clinicians, patients, and families.The Institute partnered with Nexxspan Healthcare, Turner Construction, WorldViz, Georgia Tech’s SimTigrate Design Lab, and more than 20 sponsors to deliver this project. It also worked with Hand to Hold, a NICU parent support network, to better understand the family perspective.

The research was led by SimTigrate, an interdisciplinary team dedicated to driving healthcare innovation through the integration of evidence-based design and simulation. The SimTigrate approach includes evaluating existing evidence, testing solutions in simulated environments, and validating solutions in a living lab, with the goal of translating results for broader applications.

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