A Study of Relationships Between Content in Documents From Health Service Operational Plans and Documents From the Planning of New Healthcare Environments
Aim: The aim was to investigate the content and quality of the governing documents created in the planning and design phase of new healthcare environments and in the related healthcare strategic and operational plans. Background: Quality deficits in buildings can often be traced back to the initial stages in the planning and design phase. Although large investments have been made to improve the process of planning new healthcare environments and linking the requirements to health service strategies, healthcare organizations rarely relate their strategy goals to the built environment. Method: A retrospective review of documents created in the planning and design stages of new healthcare environments and the operational plans of the target organizations was conducted. Results: The organizational operational plans did not contain any statements or information about the built environment or how a building could or should support the organization’s goals. Important information was frequently absent from the documents governing the planning and design of buildings. The documents lacked information about what and how to follow-up and what to measure once a construction project had been completed. There were no references to evidence. Conclusions: Poor documentation might undermine the quality of the planning and design phase and ultimately the opportunity to create environments that support health outcomes. Therefore, more emphasis must be placed on the importance of documentation but above all to strengthen and clarify the relationship between the healthcare organization strategy to achieve an effective and efficient care process and the intention made in the planning and design process.