Inpatient Telemedicine and New Models of Care during COVID-19: Hospital Design Strategies to Enhance Patient and Staff Safety

Link to article at PubMed

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Aug 8;18(16):8391. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18168391.


The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the development of new hospital design strategies and models of care. To enhance staff safety while preserving patient safety and quality of care, hospitals have created a new model of remote inpatient care using telemedicine technologies. The design of the COVID-19 units divided the space into contaminated and clean zones and integrated a control room with audio-visual technologies to remotely supervise, communicate, and support the care being provided in the contaminated zone. The research is based on semi-structured interviews and observations of care processes that implemented a new model of inpatient telemedicine at Sheba Medical Center in Israel in different COVID-19 units, including an intensive care unit (ICU) and internal medicine unit (IMU). The study examines the impact of the diverse design layouts of the different units associated with the implementation of digital technologies for remote care on patient and staff safety. The results demonstrate the challenges and opportunities of integrating inpatient telemedicine for critical and intermediate care to enhance patient and staff safety. We contribute insights into the design of hospital units to support new models of remote care and suggest implications for Evidence-based Design (EBD), which will guide much needed future research.

PMID:34444140 | DOI:10.3390/ijerph18168391

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