Patient room location may have direct effects on patient satisfaction, Yale study finds

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Researchers from New Haven, Conn.-based Yale University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania used tracking chips in nurses' badges to investigate how a facility's layout affected nurses' behavior and patient care, according to a June 2 report published in Yale Insights.

The study followed five months of interactions between 217 nurses and 30,000 patients in an undisclosed hospital's emergency department.

Three study findings:

  1. Nurses visited distant rooms less frequently, but for longer periods of time. The most distant rooms received about 1.4 fewer visits per hour from nurses (a 50 percent decrease), but visits were one minute longer (a 50 percent increase).

  2. There was no significant increase in emergency room visits or patient deaths in patients' whose rooms were farther from the nurses' station.

  3. Patients whose rooms were farther from the nurses' station waited longer in between visits and were more likely to use their call buttons more often. Frequent use of call buttons is closely associated with a decrease in patient satisfaction and dims the perceived quality of care.

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