Evaluating Hospital Design from an OM Perspective

Evaluating Hospital Design from an OM Perspective


The main aim of hospital building design is to facilitate the flow of patients and items in and out of the hospital. But the changes that occur in the society encompassing their health raise concerns for the management. this comes as a result of the gap created between the objective of the hospital building design and the needs of the patient. In this case, the hospital’s management evaluates the design of the hospital to determine the effectiveness and the intended purpose of the hospital. This paper will therefore tend to discuss the appropriation of the evaluation method. It will as well discuss the operations management (OM) decisions that are used in the evaluating the design of the hospital. Finally, the paper will present recommendations that will improve the evaluation method in future.

Evaluation Method

The evaluation method in this context is a process that serves to analyze the results of implemented terms that match the intended objectives. In this case, the method of simulation was quite effective since it included several effective terms that focused on a different section of the hospital. (Vos, Groothuis & Merode, 2007). The followings are some effective terms that were mainly used in evaluating the essence of the building and whether it met the intended purpose:

Different segments of the floor plan: This step was also appropriate because it helped to distinguish the sections of different floor plans on the basis of patient inflow and outflow (Vos, Groothuis & Merode, 2007). Secondly, the determination of the flow of items and patients was done. This step focused on analyzing the design of the building in accordance to the inflow and outflow of patients. this was achieved through the help of the arrival schedules (Vos, Groothuis & Merode, 2007).  Experimenting the design focused on determining whether the building served its intended purpose or not. This was then coupled up with implementation of the model which was used in the Med-model. The principle applied was the event simulation environment in comparison with a graphical interface. This step proved to be appropriate since it described the flow of patients effectively. It also enabled the healthcare facility to tell the functionality of the structure in the context of a virtual environment before the working environment (Vos, Groothuis & Merode, 2007). Through this step, the hospital management was sure to implement the right aspects only.

Running the simulation model, experimenting and analyzing the results

This was the final step in evaluation of the design. The simulation model was run to make it easier to record different parameters that would mark define the effectiveness of the design. It was then used to analyze the outcomes to make a well-thought conclusion. This results could only be gotten using this method and not any other at that point. Comparative consequence gave the method an upper hand.  The method included 100 replications with distinct time slots. This step focused on a separate schedule such as A, B, C to describe arrival patterns with the dimensions and sections as well (Vos, Groothuis & Merode, 2007). The step can therefore be deemed as effective due to its ability to provide a median of different schedules.

Decision used in Design Evaluation Method

In the evaluation method, the OM decision related to logistic process was considered since the process focused on effective flow of items and patients from one place to another within the required time. This decision was considered important for hospitals since it was aimed at enabling the hospital achieve the goals of the 21st century. (Vos, Groothuis & Merode, 2007). It can therefore be said that the related operational logistic decisions were mainly used to analyze the design of the hospital. However, it ca be observed the evaluation method only focused on the goal of hospitals in the place of future changes. Nevertheless, it did not focus on the changes in different sections. The OM decision that focused on the appropriateness of the hospital layout should have as well applied other evaluation methods to make the findings worthwhile (Setola, 2011).

Recommendations to Improve New Hospital Design

Several changes would likely be effective if the new hospital is to be constructed. The new layout should include helpful functions that may help the hospital administration to solve the emerging issues in the current environment and reduce the involvement of time in inflows and outflows of patients and items (Setola, 2011). The new hospital design should ensure that the distance between different departments is as minimal as possible. This would serve to provide calm and save on time. (Setola, 2011). Another suggestion would be the incorporation of the entire essential space of the building. This would give room for facilities such as the elevators, and conveyors for boxes that would help to reduce the time consumed by patients and workers in their way in or out. (Protzman, Mayzell & Kerpchar, 2010). Expandability and flexibility based on space for material handling and wastage collection would as well be an essential thing. This would make the building more productive hence its effectiveness (Setola, 2011). This type of layout would be utilized to manage material handling and wastage collection that continually tends to increase.

The sanitation area would be among the facilities that should be enhanced by the design of the new hospital as well. This new layout should be located in the surgical department on the ground floor (Protzman, Mayzell & Kerpchar, 2010). The layout of this segment would help emphasizing on the need for sanitary services in hospital


On the basis of the above discussion, it could be said that the changes in the design of hospital building would improve the flows of patient and items in and out of the hospital building. The above recommendations would help the hospital management to implement the OM decisions effectively therefore helping them make the appropriate design of the hospital building.





Protzman, C., Mayzell, G. & Kerpchar, M. (2010). Leveraging Lean in Healthcare: Transforming Your Enterprise into a High-Quality Patient Care Delivery System. USA: CRC Press.

Setola, N. (2011). Research Tools for Design. Spatial Layout and Patterns of Users’ Behavior. Italy: Firenze University Press.

Vos, L., Groothuis, S. & Merode, G.G. (2007). Evaluating hospital design from an operations management perspective. Health Care Manage Sci, 10, pp. 357–364.

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