Using task analysis in healthcare design to improve clinical efficiency.

Jun Lu, Sue Hignett

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


To review the functionality of the proposed soiled workroom design for efficient and safe clinical activities. As part of a hospital refurbishment program, the planning team of a United Kingdom National Health Service hospital requested a review of a proposed standardized room design. A 7-day observational study was conducted in five clinical departments at three hospitals. Link analysis was used to record and analyze the movements among components, i.e., nursing staff, equipment/devices, and furniture. Fifty-four observations were recorded for 18 clinical tasks. The most frequent tasks were the disposal of urine and used urine bottles, and returning used commode chairs. Minor recommendations were made to improve the proposed design, and major revisions were suggested to address functionality problems. It was found that the proposed design did not offer the optimal layout for efficient and safe clinical activities. Link analysis was found to be effective for plotting the movements of the staff and accounting for the complexity of tasks. This ergonomic method, in combination with observational field studies, provided a simple and effective way to determine functional space requirements for clinical activities and should be used in all healthcare building design projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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