Utilization of a Standardized Post-Occupancy Evaluation to Assess the Guiding Principles of a Major Academic Medical Center
Facility planning for healthcare organizations has become increasingly important in recent years, due primarily to the complicated needs of patient rooms and the escalating pressure to provide high-quality care to satisfy patients. Concurrently, there has been a considerable development in the field of evidence-based design (EBD) on the impact the healthcare environment has on patients and the operations of clinical staff. Although tools are being developed to assist in measuring EBD principles, they have not been universally adopted by organizations regarding how they either develop or assess healthcare facilities. This case study focuses on our attempt to implement an internal facilities evaluation process and a Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) on a major Academic Medical Center’s (AMC) new bed tower. An assembled auditing team comprised of diverse professional healthcare backgrounds performed an audit on three patient rooms using a Center for Health Design POE Questionnaire. The results of this evaluation were then compared to the guiding principles developed for the hospital during its design. Results indicated that the project narrowly missed the threshold score agreed upon by the AMC’s facilities leadership. This project demonstrated the difficulty in implementing a POE without prior experience, while highlighting the value of a standardized evaluation tool to assess past and future facilities projects.