Realizing Improved Patient Care Through Human-centered Design In the Operating Room

Two to five percent of all patients who undergo an operation will develop a surgical site infection leading to significant mortality and morbidity. The incidence of adverse events such as surgical site infections and surgical errors are an immense problem in the OR due to the highly vulnerable state of the patient and the complex interactions required between providers of different disciplines. Distractions and interruptions are major causes of medical errors during surgery and often lead to serious harm for patients. Additionally, the wide range of equipment used to perform procedures, rapidly changing technology and the physical space where care is provided pose challenges to providing high quality care. Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) were awarded a 4-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop a safer and ergonomically sound operating room. The Realizing Improved Patient Care through Human Centered Design in the OR (RIPCHD.OR) learning lab proposes a comprehensive approach to contemporary OR suite design. A multidisciplinary team comprising of architects, human factors, operations researchers, simulation experts, anesthesiologists, nurses and patient safety experts are working collaboratively on RIPCHD.OR projects. This project integrates research, studio teaching and practice components through the course of the project with the goal of developing design ideas that can be implemented and evaluated in operating rooms at MUSC.

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