Shared decision making in designing new healthcare environments-time to begin improving quality
Journal article, 2015

Background: Successful implementation of new methods and models of healthcare to achieve better patient outcomes and safe, person-centered care is dependent on the physical environment of the healthcare architecture in which the healthcare is provided. Thus, decisions concerning healthcare architecture are critical because it affects people and work processes for many years and requires a long-term financial commitment from society. In this paper, we describe and suggest several strategies (critical factors) to promote shared-decision making when planning and designing new healthcare environments. Discussion: This paper discusses challenges and hindrances observed in the literature and from the authors extensive experiences in the field of planning and designing healthcare environments. An overview is presented of the challenges and new approaches for a process that involves the mutual exchange of knowledge among various stakeholders. Additionally, design approaches that balance the influence of specific and local requirements with general knowledge and evidence that should be encouraged are discussed. Summary: We suggest a shared-decision making and collaborative planning and design process between representatives from healthcare, construction sector and architecture based on evidence and end-users' perspectives. If carefully and systematically applied, this approach will support and develop a framework for creating high quality healthcare environments.

Quality improvements

Healthcare architecture


Design process

Shared decision-making


M. Elf

Peter Fröst

Chalmers, Architecture

Göran Lindahl

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

Helle Wijk

University of Gothenburg

BMC Health Services Research

1472-6963 (ISSN)

Vol. 15 Article no. 114-

Subject Categories

Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy

Building Technologies



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