Project Scope
Duration: January – April 2020
Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA
MFA student project
Professor: Dr Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders
Medical advisory team: Daniel Vazquez, MD, MSc, FACS; Amanda Haney MS, APRN-CNP; Cindy Byrd, DNP ACNP-BC
• Alexa Belegrin
• Lucas Himes
• Marie-Josée Huard
• Priyanka Tewani
The Problem
The World Health Organization reports that 7-15% of healthcare patients will acquire an infection during their care. These types of infections, known as Healthcare- or Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs) raise healthcare costs, prolong treatment and recovery times, and can even threaten patients' lives. Patients staying in intensive-care units (ICUs) are particularly vulnerable to HAIs.
Research Question
What opportunities exist to design solutions that decrease HAIs in intensive care units?
With guidance from the medical advisory team, we focused our work on four key topics: hand washing, sanitation procedures and protocols, room space design, and building systems design.
We used multiple research methods during the course of four sessions to learn about participants' experiences related to the key topics, generate ideas, and narrow the project focus.
1. Workshop 1: interviews with healthcare providers and patients
2. Workshop 2: generative co-design session with a "make/say" toolkit
3. Survey: card sort activity
4. Design: visualize potential solutions
5. Focus Group: interviews with healthcare providers
Workshop 1: what people say
In the first workshop, we interviewed doctors, nurses, therapists, patients, and family members of patients about their experiences in the ICU related to hospital-acquired infections. We guided the conversations to focus on five sub-topics: awareness of the issue, building systems, physical space design and layout, infection prevention, and infection responses.
We documented interesting pieces of information on Post-It notes and placed the notes on the wall in a visible location in the room. Later, we rearranged the notes and grouped them into related themes.
Workshop 2: what people make
In the second workshop, we asked participants to design their ideal space using a toolkit consisting of an ICU floorplan, models of objects found in rooms, human figurines, and drawing supplies.
Based on findings from the workshops, we identified several areas of opportunity to decrease infections in the ICU. We developed a survey to solicit feedback from participants about which had the most potential for success.
Design Concepts
The survey enabled our team to prioritize several directions for refinement. We created illustrations to visualize the concepts and their key traits. (Illustrations by Lucas Himes)
Focus Group
We shared the conceptual illustrations to a select group of participants for additional feedback in a focus group format. We presented our process, experiences, and findings to the medical advisory team.
Storr J, et al. Core components for effective infection prevention and control programmes: new WHO evidence-based recommendations. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2017 Jan 10;6:6.
Clack, L., Stühlinger, M., Meier, MT. et al. User-centred participatory design of visual cues for isolation precautions. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 8, 179 (2019).
Scott G. Prevention and control of infections in intensive care. Intensive Care Med. 2000;26 Suppl 1:S22-5.
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