Do third-corridor designs actually work for healthcare environments?
Our healthcare designs frequently include spaces that support new and improved client workflow and processes, or spaces that we believe will improve the patient experience. We rely on previous research, client initiated process improvement, and intuition to determine best practices.
The OSF Milestone Project nursing unit design included a design feature the team believed would reduce noise and distraction to patients and nursing staff. Each nursing unit included a “third corridor” which ran from the service elevators through the center of the nursing unit. This corridor was intended to minimize clinical, service, nutritional and housekeeping traffic from the main corridors outside the patient rooms and nurse stations.
This project provided a unique opportunity to go back one year after the space had been occupied to determine if the third corridor did what it was intended to do. Cannon Design’s research group designed a rigorous study to measure noise levels and nurse perceptions, using the pre-move nursing unit as a control, verifying the noise levels were significantly lower in the new environment. The study used hand held noise meters, surveys and observations to compare the noise and distraction in the pre-move unit and the new unit.