Alternative solutions to 1960's single corridor ward design in hospitals: a case study based on nurses's perspectives

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

Many existing hospitals have problems with their ward layouts. However, the increase in construction costs and the decrease in the number of hospitals have made renovation more economical than building new facilities. Compounding the problem of inefficient floor layouts is the increasing severity of cases treated on an inpatient basis.

This research was designed to evaluate the problems faced by nurses working on long corridor patient wards in Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was shown in the study and through previous studies in the literature that these types of wards have physical design problems that affect adversely nurses’ activities in patient care.

This study used a time travel method to evaluate the amount of time the nurses spent traveling between the nurses’ station, patient rooms, and other functional areas. Nurses’ perspectives concerning their physical environment and layout were also studied using a questionnaire.

It was found that the travel time on the ward was directly related to the geometry of the ward. It was also shown that the total travel time was dependant on the number of patients in the ward. The average amount of time nurses spent traveling in Ward-A was more than the average time they spent in patient rooms. The average time the nurses spent traveling in Ward-B was less than the average time they spent in patient rooms. In addition to a discussion of the time travel data the study also posed several design solutions to problems found in Montgomery Regional Hospital.