Evaluation of Physical Environment Parameters in Healthcare
The physical environment in hospitals should provide adequate conditions in terms of lighting, thermal comfort, air quality, and noise level. If such conditions are not appropriate, both workers and patients may be negatively affected. In this work is was developed a human factors and ergonomics based methodology to enable the evaluation of the physical environment in patient care areas. The methodology was developed in six steps. First, literature research was performed to determine the parameters to be evaluated. Second; three methods to evaluate the selected parameters were defined: measurement, observation, and written survey. In the third step two charts were created to aid in the parameters measurement and observations. The fourth step involved the development of a written survey in the form of a questionnaire to be applied to healthcare staff. In the fifth step it was developed a method to process the collected data (measurements, observations, and written survey). Finally, in the sixth step, dashboards were developed to report the collected data. The methodology was applied in the emergency department observation room of a public hospital. The analysis of the reports showed that the temperature and noise were not always in accordance with the established limits. Moreover, the fact that some workers were negatively affected by noise could be verified through survey answers. In addition, there were complaints regarding the risk of slip, trip or fall.
KeywordsErgonomics human factors physical environment environmental risk
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