Article Text

Download PDFPDF

A study protocol for performance evaluation of a new academic intensive care unit facility: impact on patient care
  1. Mauricio Ferri1,2,
  2. David A Zygun3,
  3. Alexandra Harrison2,
  4. Henry T Stelfox1,2,4
  1. 1Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Calgary, and Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2Department of Community Health Sciences, Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  3. 3Critical Care Medicine, University of Alberta, and Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  4. 4Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, and Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Henry T Stelfox; tstelfox{at}


Background Healthcare facility construction is increasing because of population demand and the need to replace ageing infrastructure. Research suggests that there may be a relationship between healthcare environment and patient care. To date, most evaluations of new healthcare facilities are derived from techniques used in other industries and focus on physical, financial and architectural performance. However, few studies have evaluated the impact of healthcare facility design on processes and outcomes of patient care.

Study aims The primary objective of this study was to investigate the impact of relocation to a new intensive care unit (ICU) facility on clinical performance measures. This study also proposes to develop and test a framework for facility performance evaluation using accepted ICU design guidelines and Donabedian's model for healthcare quality.

Methods and analysis We will utilise a mixed-methods, observational, retrospective, controlled, before-and-after design to take advantage of the quasiexperimental conditions created with the construction of a new ICU facility in Calgary, Canada. For the qualitative substudy, we will conduct individual interviews with end-users to understand their impressions and experiences with the new environment and perform thematic analysis. For the quantitative substudy, we will compare process of care indicators and patient outcomes for the 12-month period before and after relocation to the new facility. Two other local ICU facilities that did not undergo structural change during the study period will serve as controls. We will triangulate qualitative and quantitative results utilising a novel framework.

Ethics and dissemination The results of this study will contribute in understanding the impact of new ICU facilities on clinical performance measures centred on patients, their families and healthcare providers. The framework will complement existing building performance evaluation techniques and help healthcare administrators plan new ICU facilities. The University of Calgary Research Ethics Board approved this study protocol.

  • Health Services Administration & Management

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary Data

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.