Recognizing that a significant percentage of falls occur during the process of toileting, it is important to understand the configuration of the patient room and the location of the toilet room, and how the patient interacts with the environment.
The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) had conducted research and developed the SAFE from FALLS program in 2007. While process improvements and implementation new protocols helped reduced falls, the built environment itself had been overlooked as a potential risk to patients. MHA contracted with Pope Architects and Michael Graves Architecture & Design in researching toilet related falls with a focused study on the physical environment of care.
Five hospitals of varying sizes and dates of construction were selected by MHA and Pope Architects in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota region to participate in this a facility assessment and research study. The Research Study Assessment Tool based off of Falls Environment Evaluation Tool (FEET) developed by Dr. Margaret Calkins was reformatted and tailored in collecting (4) areas of information – General, Patient Room, Toilet Room and Nurse Station data on all of the facilities. On July 14th, 2014 MHA, Pope Architects and MDGA met in person to discuss the past and present MHA Fall Study and received approval of the Assessment Tool criteria. July 15th and 16th MHA, Pope Architects and MDGA toured the (5) hospitals, and assessed over (19) patient rooms and toilets from semi-private to private, and a variety of unit types. The data was documented utilizing the assessment tool, photography, measurements and floor plan sketches indicating locations of major components of the rooms from clearances to obstructions, layouts, accessories, amenities and technologies.
MGA&D’s unique multidisciplinary approach to design allowed us to deliver a fresh perspective, leveraging our experienced team of architects, interior designers, and product designers.