Objectives: This study explored design solutions that can help clinicians manage work-related stress, pursue mindful work, and practice relaxation and coping strategies. Background: Clinicians are experiencing burnout at increasingly higher rates, leading to compromised patient care. While self-care and stress management strategies are shown to be effective in healthcare settings, little is known about how the design of healthcare settings can facilitate these strategies. Methods: Using findings of a preceding study by the authors, a virtual walk-through video of a design proposal for a free-standing emergency department was built. Feedback data were collected from clinicians in 10 in-depth interviews, and emerging themes were identified using qualitative content analysis. Results: Our findings suggest that work environments that reflect intentional efforts to meet clinicians’ needs for stress management can enhance their feeling of being valued and sense of professional worth. Clinicians are more likely to step away from work if there are multiple spaces for bio breaks and rest breaks. Primary break rooms are preferred to be close to patient care areas, but respite/escape spaces are preferred to be distant and private from patient care areas. Participants endorsed the provision of at least one staff bathroom large enough for extra seating and one outdoor respite space. Multiple workspaces should allow the completion of various tasks with adjustable levels of privacy. Conclusions: We suggest special attention to non-institutional aesthetics, providing choice and control, increasing flexibility, promoting privacy for focused work, maximizing access to daylight and outdoors, and providing opportunities for grief support.
Valipoor, S., Bosch, S. J., & Chiu, L. Y. T. (2023). From Stressful to Mindful: Reactions to a Proposed Emergency Department Design for Enhancing Mindfulness and Stress Reduction Among Healthcare Clinical Staff. Health Environments Research and Design Journal, 16(4), 82–102. https://doi.org/10.1177/19375867231172222