To address increasing patient demands and acuity, the Calgary Health Region is renovating the intensive care units (ICU) at three of their adult acute care sites. Before finalising the design plans, mock-up rooms were created at two of the sites according to several proposed room designs in order to identify potential issues during the design phase of the project. All necessary equipment was included within each of the two mock-up rooms so as to nearly replicate a functioning ICU.
Evaluations of equipment, room layout and conflicts were accomplished using patient simulation of a cardiac arrest, an acutely ill patient, a palliative care patient and the admission of a new patient. Digital videos, think aloud audio tracks and extensive debriefing sessions were combined and analyzed. Specific category issues were identified including the articulating arms, visibility of the patient monitors, equipment usability, collisions with equipment, and communication issues. Elaboration of each issue and presentation of design recommendations is given.