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Health Systems Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
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Atlanta, 30308
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Seed Grant Profile


2007-2008 Program

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Designing Healthcare of the Future: Multi-Disciplinary Approaches to Applying Innovation in the Design of a Pediatric Healthcare Center

Converting current research in the various disciplines of Systems Engineering, Architecture, Industrial Design, Computer Science and Nursing into practical applications in pediatric healthcare delivery requires real opportunities to evaluate, test and implement ideas. Most research and innovative thinking concerning facilities, furniture/fixtures, information/communication systems, and operations are focused on adults. Pediatric needs are unique and the environments of care and healing needs to redesigned or adapted to be effective.

Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital is in the beginning of plans to renovate/expand/restructure the center to become more responsive to its providers and patients providing patient/family centered care as suggested by the IOM (Institute of Medicine). This is a great opportunity to implement and evaluate ideas for better pediatric care. Last year Georgia Tech and Emory jointly implemented a highly successful multidisciplinary course Designing an Inpatient Room of the Future. This brought together leading researchers and practitioners from Emory School of Nursing, Emory Healthcare, Steelcase, and Georgia Tech to guide this laboratory class. Twenty seven graduate students pursued seven unique solutions to a better inpatient room. Patents have been filed on three novel projects as an outcome of this class. One of the projects is under consideration for development and production. Using the Laboratory Course with a real life project (Hughes Spalding) should seed many great ideas.

We will repeat this fall the laboratory/course "Designing the Healthcare of the Future" alongside Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital to focus on "Innovations in the Design of a Pediatric Healthcare Center". We believe that the best ideas will represent new knowledge, and possibly new products/processes that will make better pediatric healthcare environments. We want to focus additional resources on the follow-up of the best ideas. Research teams will be assigned to work with Hughes Spalding to test and implement these ideas. This project will develop new knowledge in pediatric environments of care and will speed ideas into production.

Investigators: Craig Zimring (GT, Architecture), Ellen Yi-Luen Do (GT, Computing), Julia Jones (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Hughes Spalding), David Cowan (GT, Health Systems), Gerri Lamb (Emory, Nursing), Sabir Kahn (GT, Architecture)

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