Design suggestions for greater teamwork, communication and security in hospital emergency departments

Arsalan Gharaveis, D. Kirk Hamilton, Mardelle Shepley, Debajyoti Pati, Susan Rodiek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This paper presents design recommendations based on a qualitative study for enhancement of teamwork, communication and security in emergency departments. Considering the crucial role of the emergency department in providing urgent care, the design of physical environments to facilitate immediate, efficient and effective patient care are of significant importance. The study adopted an exploratory approach, where levels of visibility, teamwork, communication and security were explored in five emergency departments using one-on-one interviews. Data collection and analysis involved interviews with medical staff and a textual analysis of interview transcripts. The study findings support the view that teamwork, communication and security can be improved by the physical layout in an emergency department, as well as other environmental factors including acoustics, lighting, accessibility of supplies, entrance control and privacy. The study provides tangible design guidelines for architects, healthcare planners and emergency department managers to support design decisions and strategies that promote emergency department effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1126-1139
Number of pages14
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Built environment design
  • Communication
  • Emergency department
  • Security
  • Teamwork


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