Innovation Is The Best Medicine

When it comes to the high energy professionals in the medical field, a hospital or emergency room is the place to be when providing fast paced care in an orderly, but chaotic, environment.  In level 1 trauma centers, seconds can make a major difference in patient outcomes. 

Sara Bayramzadeh headshot

Sara Bayramzadeh, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design and former new ORSA recipient, recognizes that minor errors which are prone to occur under such hectic and distracting conditions can prove fatal. 

In 2019, Bayramzadeh was granted $2.47 million by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to help improve operations within level one trauma units. By identifying and correcting the environmental conditions that impair the timely work of physicians, preventable mistakes and obstacles will be more avoidable.

Using design as a means to attain a safer and more efficient trauma room, Bayramzadeh and her team have established “Toward a Model of Safety and Care for Trauma Room Design,” a Patient Safety Learning Lab developed to address mistakes, create results and produce guidelines for level one trauma units in a hands-on way.

Image from one of the mock up trauma rooms in the design innovation hub

“It’s typical to see issues such as noise, bad lighting, busy areas and difficulty with temperature maintenance in trauma room units. With the amount of different things going on at once, it can be very crowded and extremely stressful,” Bayramzadeh said. “By effectively developing different components of the physical environment, such as layout and technology integration, we can enhance workflow and efficient care.”

Partnering with physicians at Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Bayramzadeh and her team divided this project into five phases to span over a four-year time frame. Within the past year, they have worked to identify common issues found within trauma rooms and have created a full scale model mock up level one trauma unit designed to reduce problematic factors.

Three variations of the trauma center have been created to represent the present, 25 years from now and 50 years from now. Located in the Design Innovation Hub, Cleveland Clinic Akron General Clinicians run scenario-based simulations to evaluate the effectiveness of the updated design. 

Learn more about this cross disciplinary project

Learn more about the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

POSTED: Monday, August 02, 2021 10:55 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 07, 2023 05:40 AM
Theresa Lovrak