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SimTigrate Design Lab

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Designing for Effective and Safe Multidisciplinary Primary Care Teamwork: Using the Time of COVID-19 as a Case Study

2021-08 , Lim, Lisa , Zimring, Craig , DuBose, Jennifer R. , Lee, Jaehoon , Stroebel, Robert J. , Matthews, Marc R.

Effective medical teamwork can improve the effectiveness and experience of care for staff and patients, including safety. Healthcare organizations, and especially primary care clinics, have sought to improve medical teamwork through improved layout and design, moving staff into shared multidisciplinary team rooms. While co-locating staff has been shown to increase communi-cation, successful designs balance four teamwork needs: face-to-face communications; situational awareness; heads-down work; perception of teamness. However, precautions for COVID-19 make it more difficult to conduct face-to-face communications. In this paper we describe a model for un-derstanding how layout affects these four teamwork needs and describe how the perception of teamwork by staff changed after COVID-19 precautions were put in place. Observations, interviews and two standard surveys were conducted in two primary care clinics before COVID-19 and again in 2021 after a year of precautions. In general, staff felt more isolated and found it more difficult to conduct brief consults, though these perceptions varied by role. RNs, who spent more time on the phone, found it convenient to work part time-from home, while medical assistants found it more difficult to find providers in the distanced clinics. These cases suggest some important considera-tions for future clinic designs, including greater physical transparency that also allow for physical separation and more spaces for informal communication that are distanced from workstations.

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Lighting the patient room of the future: Evaluating different lighting conditions from the patient perspective

2021 , DuBose, Jennifer R. , Davis, Robert G. , Campiglia, Gabrielle , Wilkerson, Andrea , Zimring, Craig

This study explores whether “future” lighting systems that provide greater control and opportunity for circadian synchronization are acceptable to participants in the role of patients.Tunable, dimmable light emitting diode(LED)systems provide multiple potential benefits for healthcare. They can provide significant energy savings, support circadian synchronization by varying the spectrum and intensity of light over the course of the day, address nighttime navigation needs, and provide user-friendly control. There is an emerging understanding of the important visual and non-visual effects of light,however, important questions remain about the experience and acceptability of this “future” lighting if we are to adopt it broadly.