HCD Virtual will be held Nov. 9-12 and offer a variety of keynote and breakout sessions delivered over four days. Healthcare Design is previewing some of the upcoming educational sessions in a series of Q+As with speakers, sharing what they plan to discuss and key takeaways they plan to offer attendees. For more on the HCD Virtual schedule and registration, visit HCDvirtual.com.

Session: POE-fficient: How to Apply Evidence-based Design in Everyday Practice, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Speakers: Angela Mazzi, associate principal, GBBN Architects; Jason Groneck, principal, GBBN Architects; Timothy Hsu, project research leader, GBBN Architects

Having created a streamlined process for utilizing evidence-based design (EBD) and conducting post occupancy evaluations on projects, speakers at GBBN will demonstrate their work process, the case for an EBD design process, and how to conduct studies without introducing bias. Attendees will also learn how to build primary data collection into pre-design and design phases to further strengthen everyday use.

What’s the biggest hurdle to overcome to applying evidence-based design in everyday practice?

Angela Mazzi: Integration. Many firms treat evidence-based design (EBD) as a siloed activity performed by a specialty department. This causes it to be a separate overlay to their design process. GBBN decided that it wanted EBD to be something that can automatically be applied by any team on any project, so it looked at the project process and enhanced it with EBD techniques, so that it’s seamless to gather and apply data.

We’ve also trained our medical planners, project managers, and project architects on how to properly apply these processes so that we collect meaningful data. Our process is published on our intranet along with examples so that everyone at the firm has access and we periodically have research sessions for our staff to make sure training is current.  We also looked to make things scalable, so that the appropriate amount of research is undertaken.

What are some of the primary data that need to be collected pre-design and post occupancy to inform evidence-based design strategies?

Gemba walks, observations, and surveys allow project teams to identify pain points the users face, so they know they’re solving the right problems. It also introduces rigor so that neither a firm nor its clients use data collected to confirm what they “want to be true.”

For example, we typically conduct observations at peak hours on three separate occasions to isolate anomalies. We’ve developed a survey format that is easily tailored to new projects and only requires small adjustments based on the project type.  Also, we collect some of the same data on every project so that we can compare what we collect across multiple project types. In this way, EBD is expanded to be about more than the individual project and allow data collected to have broader application in our work.

Why is it important for clients to consider steps to study and improve safety, operations, and outcomes?

Two common mistakes that clients make are requests to build the same space only bigger (because they think it is just about capacity) or designing for a model of care that hasn’t been implemented yet (and may never be adopted). By taking the time to understand the culture of current workspaces, and collect data on targeted statistics, a project team can objectively discuss process improvement.

Process improvement is also tied to change management. Without a target for improvement and agreed upon measures, it can be hard to implement change management. Most healthcare workers are dealing with high levels of stress sand burnout, so they really need to understand that changes proposed will help them serve patients better and feel that their needs were heard and addressed in order for them to be willing to work differently.

For more on the HCD Virtual schedule and registration, visit HCDvirtual.com.